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June 18, 2008

And just what kind of a name is Farhad, anyway?

To understand why Obama's anti-smear site is doomed, you could read Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times and Salon. Or you could just read the responses to the site on the appropriately named Nutty News.

The thing to remember is that none of these people were ever going to vote for him anyway. Also, John McCain called his wife a cunt.

[Related post]

Update: Slate's rumors Obama supporters should forward. "Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower."

Posted by Daniel Radosh

Comments

I'm not so sure the statement, Barak Obama is not a Muslim, is really going to do it as far as putting the issue to rest anyway.

I mean, will the Cindy McCain Camp issue a similar retort maintaining she's not a cunt? How will we know for sure? It's damnably hard to prove. She's go that tight bun and he was a member of a church where the black separatist movement of the Nation of Islam was front and center.

Sure, his supporters feel it unfair and ridiculous, and his detractors point to documentation of his youth indicating he did consider himself to be Muslim.

Debunking this won't gain him votes, and I suspect more evidence suggesting he was a childhood Muslim won't lose him votes.

I fear he truly is a movement and not a candidate. And it is this issue, that of movement over man, that is his biggest weakness. Individual people might disagree or dislike a man, but the mob might rise up against a movement.

Pessimist - your conventional wisdom is at least four months out of date. The moment when Obama was held up by (some of) his supporters as a symbol of a nebulous brighter future has come on gone. For some time now, his appeal has been that of any other politician -- judgment, policy proposals, ideas, management style, and, in his case, the ability to articulate those in a compelling way. You'll have to find another reason to hate him.

I would never vote for a gargoyle like McCain, but his having called his wife a cunt at least shows he has moments of lucidity.

I don't hate the guy, honest. It's such a strong word. Never use it for referencing people. Only vegetables.

I do enjoy his speeches as much as the next sycophant. But I admit to having a nagging, and I'll say it, pessimism. He's as articulate as Bush is inarticulate. What stands the hair up on the back of my neck is whether he's more ,or less, honest than the incumbent.

If I may distill my fear Daniel, it is that there is a heavy shoe left to drop that will lose this election for the good guys.

Do not discount this Muslim issue (and the rest)as something to be laughed off as only believed by hard core conservatives and idiots.

The party must see there is serious work to be done and simple brush off denials aren't effective beyond His hard core supporters.

I'm thrilled to see his numbers rising with women. A positive sign.

Also, I have to agree with JD. You have got to respect a dude who can call his wife a cunt (the wife who signs the checks).

Of course, I'd have had to respect Cindy McCain more had she responded in kind.
And the material is so rich, "at least I... (chose one or two) don't have to cover that nasty Frankenstein scar... can reach my face... am not a twisted dwarf... know how to use a teleprompter... have all the money... can still get laid by the staffers... look good in a suit..."

Also, I have to agree with JD. You have got to respect a dude who can call his wife a cunt

Oh, please. I'm sure McCain's very next thought - and perhaps utterance - was: "Wait, did I say that or just think it?"

Why was McCain so incensed at his wife's playfulness? Was he really mad at her or was he just kidding her back, abet inappropriately?

If she was really, really short, he could have gone with:
"What do you think I said?? I called her a RUNT. That's my pet name for her; as in "I only married this stupid runt for her money."

It seems sort of curious that political correctness has not compelled Obama and his supporters to say, "Im (he is) not a muslim, not that theres anything wrong with that". I get the feeling that even liberals would not want a muslim for president since the religion promotes violence and fundamentalist intolerance (read the Koran or take a quick look at the history of Islam before you accuse me of being a Limbaughite). Being muslim is apparently the one thing that almost all Americans would be quick to deny without hesitation or qualification and don't feel a duty to pretend to respect or even tolerate. Basically, islam bashing seems totally accepted in America and non-muslims don't feel the need to cry intolerance about it.

American's enjoy the freedom to be able to bash everything, thankfully. Islam, homosexuality, gun owners, anti-gun owners, abortion, pro-life, euthanasia. Love em or hate em, protest for or against, blog awayÖ You choose.

Also thankfully, we seem slightly more limited in the fanatical devotion to many of our respective ideals (OK, an executed doctor here, a few bombs went off there). The Muslim thing obviously hurts not because itís a religion but because of the association with fundamentalist violence. Had he been rumored to be a Buddhist as a child, I think his response would be quite different, and he wouldn't be shooing monks from behind his podium.

I think itís a little dicey, since itís counter to his message of inclusiveness thus far. So strongly excluding the possibility of his association with Islam, even at a young age, is akin to renouncing Islam, yes? Do we, as a country, not discriminate based upon religion or race or gender? How does his attitude square with his heralded speech on religion after the first Wright bomb went off?

Might he state that no matter the name of the religion, god is god is god (if you believe in such a thing), and it is how we choose to interpret god that is subject to corruption by a sometimes fatally flawed human mind. Religion isnít god, itís people. So get off the fucking Muslim thing and letís move on.

Religion is people. IT'S PEOPLE!!!

at, and quoting, pessimist

"So strongly excluding the possibility of his association with Islam, even at a young age, is akin to renouncing Islam, yes?"
Yes, that as my point, that he is unabashedly renouncing Islam because no one has any sympathy for Islam, and why would we?
"Do we, as a country, not discriminate based upon religion or race or gender?"
Of course we do, we only want, quite rightly, the gov't not to do so in an official capacity.
"Might he state that no matter the name of the religion, god is god is god (if you believe in such a thing), and it is how we choose to interpret god that is subject to corruption by a sometimes fatally flawed human mind"
He might if he cared to defend Islam, and that is my point. Political correctness in America does not seem to extend to Islam since so many of us, liberal and conservative, apparently agree it is not worth defending. You seem to suggest Islam is just another religion and we cannot blame the religion for the actions of the people who use it to attack others or oppress women, except that is the nature of the religion, its what islam is all about in purpose, history and present implementation. where is the modern liberal muslim state that does not repudiate every liberal freedom Americans enjoy?
My point is Obama seems to be able to repudiate islam without qualification because no one is sympathetic to islam, muslims are neither a minority, oppressed or proponents of decent or liberal ideals in the minds of Americans so we don't feel the need to defend muslims. Or, in Obama's case, he does not feel the need to pretend to respect them while insisting he is not one of them. As I implied above, if Obama was accused of being gay, he would have to deny the accusation while insisting he did not have a problem with homosexuality. when he denies being a muslim, Americans do not demand he makes such a qualification.

where is the modern liberal muslim state that does not repudiate every liberal freedom Americans enjoy?

Indonesia

This discussion makes me want to have Christopher Hitchens' goblin baby, or at least sit in Strawberry Fields and sing "Imagine" all day.

The Bible is full of divine exhortations the equivalent of "kill the infidel." Judaism and Christianity are death cults no less than Islam in the eyes of their fanatical adherents and enemies alike.

Even in the Bhagavad Gita, the great book of the gentle Hindu, God tells the mortal protagonist he must kill to fulfil his purpose as a member of the warrior caste.

Fundamentalists, charlatan preachers and rabble rousing propagandists are always going to find a hook to hang their demagogic cap upon. If scriptures did not exist they'd exploit the words of puny earthlings from Shakespeare to Jacqueline Susanne. I understand this fellow Karl Marx once had a following, and ornery old Ayn Rand still transports true believers to ecstactic heights.

The point is in the modern world common human decency prevails. Most with a religious affiliation focus on its feel-good moral precepts, and disregard the blood and guts as fairytale stuff. Americans are secular in the main. If anything they are in fact, as Camille Paglia has written, Pagan, and have the good sense to worship money and sex: sex for obvious reasons, and money for its power to buy sex; also for its power to buy comfort, health care and education for the children that result.

American society at present demands you attend the weekly prayer meeting and drop your money in the basket to prove you are not a dreaded atheist. Most don't let god stuff go too far beyond that, as it would seriously interfere with earning and spending.

Obama owns a Harvard law degree and a two million dollar house. He has two well-fed children. McCain married a wealthy and attractive younger woman and has a litter of sassy kids. The fact is whatever zealotry either may supposedly harbor, conventional western-style success has been the result of their worldly efforts.

Face it: political fun and games aside, McCain and Obama are both all-American boys. This is undeniable despite persistent rumors that years ago each fathered a black baby.

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