Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

So in the course of bloviating about how Michelle Obama put her foot in her mouth this week Bill O’Reilly then, likewise, stuffed a loafer into his own pie-hole.

I inadvertently had O’Reilly on the radio while driving this afternoon, and kept listening out for hell of it (he’s on the same station as Tony Kornheiser). I was actually more disturbed by the callers I heard this afternoon than by O’Reilly’s slip yesterday. One called in to say that though she is a lifelong Texas Republican, she switched parties for the primary so she can vote for Hillary Clinton. Why? Because she was terrified that a man with the middle name “Hussein” who attended a madrassa (a false charge, BTW, that O’Reilly didn’t bother to correct) could potentially be our next president.

The next caller incoherently rambled on about how America will be as disappointed with Obama as Massachusetts has been with Gov. Deval Patrick. O’Reilly cut him off before he could finish. But it’s pretty clear where the guy was headed.

This could all get pretty ugly.

PS:  Please spare me the accusation that I’m equating opposition to Obama’s policies with racism.  I oppose most of Obama’s policies.  Opposition to his policies is one thing.  Making implicit (or in this case, not-so-subtle) appeals to racial and ethnic ignorance, such as the O’Reilly callers this afternoon or the National Review post yesterday conflating interracial marriage with Black Panther Marxism is something else entirely.

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14 Responses to “Surprised?”

  1. #1 |  Tom | 

    I live in Texas and plan to vote for Hillary in the primary

    As libertarian/conservative I want the Clinton/B. Hussein Obama race to be as close and controversial as possible.

    While I don’t think America will elect a black man with a Muslim name, from what I hear of his rhetoric beyond “hope” and “change”, I can’t comprehend any libertarian leaning person wanting him in charge.

    So ugly will be good when it comes to the Dem’s nomination.

  2. #2 |  Vermin Kol | 

    Personally, I really didn’t see a problem with O’Reilly using the term “lynching party”. Is it because Michelle Obama is black that the term is now offensive because some black people were lynched in the past. Is lynching now synonymous with the black race? Seems to me that some people are entirely too sensitive.

  3. #3 |  Andrew | 

    Really Tom? You can’t comprehend it? Maybe “wanting him in charge” in the abstract I could understand, but “wanting him in charge compared to the other two” is pretty much no contest for me. Obama is the best of the remaining three front-runners on civil liberties, government transparency, cleaning up police abuse, etc – really, a great majority of the topics covered regularly in this blog. He’s in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. One of his key pieces of legislation as a state senator was making sure the police videotaped interrogations so that they don’t do illegal things while questioning suspects (as they had done in the past).

    Yes, he’ll probably raise taxes. Yes, he’ll probably work to make health care more if not completely socialized. But there are plenty of issues – issues that many libertarians care deeply about – on which Obama would be much, much better than either McCain or Clinton. If you can’t comprehend why some libertarian-leaning types would prefer him to Clinton or McCain, then maybe you should get out more.

  4. #4 |  ruserious | 

    Yes, lynching is synonymous with the black race.

  5. #5 |  old | 

    Making implicit (or in this case, not-so-subtle) appeals to racial and ethnic ignorance, such as the O’Reilly callers this afternoon or the National Review post yesterday conflating interracial marriage with Black Panther Marxism is something else entirely.

    Your kidding! People who listen to Bill O’Reilly get their facts wrong? The National Review conflates! Thank Christ these are not signs of the Apocalypse, otherwise we would run out of worlds to end.

    Vermin Kol | February 21st, 2008 at 1:04 am
    Is it because Michelle Obama is black that the term is now offensive because some black people were lynched in the past. Is lynching now synonymous with the black race?

    “For decades, the noose played a central part in a campaign of violence and fear against African Americans. Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of the night before the eyes of their terrified children. Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deeds [sic] and their deaths. For generations of African Americans, the noose was more than a tool of murder; it was a tool of intimidation that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions.

    The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history. The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank. And lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest. As a civil society, we must understand that noose displays and lynching jokes are deeply offensive. They are wrong. And they have no place in America today.”

    Pres. George Bush
    President Bush Celebrates African American History Month
    East Room
    3:00 P.M. EST
    February 12 2008

  6. #6 |  Tom | 


    The items that you bring up, which I agree with, only affect a small percentage of Americans directly. Higher taxes and socialized health care affect everybody directly.

    I won’t trade small gains in civil liberties for enormous losses in other liberties, particularly my ability to control may own health care.

    This is not abstract for me. My son died when the experimental drug he was taking was cut off by FDA edict. Imagine if every medical treatment was subject to government approval.

  7. #7 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Afer carefully comparing the three main candidates, analyzing their proposals for the future, scrutinizing their ethical behavior, judging their dedication to liberty, measuring their intellectual strength and energy, assessing the respectability they would bring to the office, I have concluded that we are all totally fuckin’ doomed.

  8. #8 |  Dave_D | 

    I think Dave Krueger hit the nail on the head, we are totally screwed. I’m 55 years old and have voted in every election since I was old enough. I can’t remember an election in all those years when I thought the field of candidates was so utterly pathetic.

    Just for grins does anyone have any ideas on what would happen to who’s numbers if we raised the voting age back to 21? I personally think we should. We lowered the voting age to 18 because a person could be drafted at 18 but not vote. That was fair but no one is facing the draft today and 18 year olds are not as mature as those 30 years ago. Most of the 18 year olds I know either think AIDS is a scam or that you can’t get it from oral sex but they sure as hell have an opinion on who should be president. The founding fathers limited voting to property owners not because they were bigots but because they felt that only stakeholders should have a right to vote. Now that we have income tax we are all pretty much stakeholders so I wouldn’t want to see those kinds restrictions come back but being a citizen and old enough to actually own property doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

  9. #9 |  Mike Schneider | 

    O’Reilly is a cretin, to be sure, but I would trust nothing the “Media Matters” has to say about anything, as they have their own documented record of lying through their teeth a mile long.

  10. #10 |  Halcyon | 

    What is that documented record of them lying through their teeth that’s a mile long?

  11. #11 |  Michael | 

    The first time I ever heard the word “lynch” was on the old westerns I used to watch on Saturday mornings, as a kid. It is a terribly unjust way to treat people. Too bad, that those, who think torture is OK, are putting out propaganda that the word lynching is a black only reference. I am totally abhor racism. But, since when did any part, of our culture, have the right to put a claim on words to be spoken in public?! Too much political correctness, if you asked me!

  12. #12 |  kdw | 

    The importance of presidential elections is vastly overstated.

    The GOP didn’t double the national debt because of George Bush. They did it because they controlled all aspects of government, and ran them lock-step.

    As a libertarian, I submit that the best candidates are those who are least likely to have the ability to railroad through any sort of nonsense without stop.

    I don’t believe Clinton is a viable candidate (she’d lose to McCain) which makes the question McCain v. Obama.

    Obama is from a party that is known for in-fighting and that doesn’t hold a useful majority in the legislature (and is unlikely to do so in the future.) McCain is from a party that recently proved that it is ready, able and willing to overspend by 5 trillion dollars while simultaneously claiming that they are fiscally responsible.

    As such, I support Obama, because I think his capacity for harm is vastly lower than McCain’s, given all other variables.

  13. #13 |  Bob Weber | 

    Can I point out that “madrassa” is simply the Arabic word for school? My Lebanese Christian friend went to a “madrassa”. The name of the person who ran it was something like Father Murphy.

  14. #14 |  Phelps | 

    I would agree that it was clear where the Duval Patrick caller was going also — that Obama is accused of plagerizing his speeches from Duval Patrick, and they will be just as empty as the originals in the end.

    But then, when you want to see racism in republicans, you’ll see it where you want to find it.