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Armstrong Williams comments on NYT's ethics

Okay, wait. I need to stop laughing. I need to compose myself. Armstrong Williams is the guy who was found to have pocketed over $240,000 from the Department of Education. He was the one who pushed No Child Left Behind on his talk show and never acknowledged that he was on Bush’s payroll.

So, now, he is criticizing the New York Times about their John McCain story. I’m starting to laugh again. Look if Armstrong Williams is Superman and he is not, then ethics is his kryptonite. He shouldn’t come within a mile of anyone with a microphone and a question about ethics. He simply isn’t credible. He can’t make himself credible. He can’t wave a magic wand and become credible. That ship has sailed. MSNBC should be ashamed for digging him up.

Now, about the NYT. I’m not sure why the NYT sat on this story for a couple of months but they did. First of all, the reaction to the New York Times story has been overwhelming. The New York Times has received over 2400 comments on their website. I have been following online blogs and newspapers for years. I have never seen 2400 comments to anything on any website. It is an amazing response. It is a type of response that raises a red flag. Someone sent out an e-mail and asked people to berate or chastise the New York Times. I don’t know this for a fact but that number of comments is way out of proportion to what that story should’ve gotten.

Secondly, if the story come out back in December, when Drudge said the New York Times had the story, what would have happened? John McCain would’ve been dead in the water. Let’s remember a few things — back in June – August, John McCain’s campaign was in serious trouble. They weren’t raising any money. He just fired a bunch of staff. His campaign chairman in Florida had just been arrested for doing some Larry Craig type of activity in some public restroom. If the New York Times had released an article in December John McCain would not be running for president now. Therefore, the New York Times did him a favor by holding the article until his campaign was stronger. (more…)

By |2008-02-23T23:01:10-04:00February 23rd, 2008|Election 2008|Comments Off on Armstrong Williams comments on NYT's ethics

Senator Clinton's Comments

Senator Hillary Clinton made comments in New Hampshire last week that sought to diminish the role of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.

Mrs Clinton said—“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a President to get it done.”

Mrs. Clinton’s comments were part of her effort since the Iowa caucus to belittle the optimism felt by many over the campaign of Senator Barack Obama.

Along these lines, former President Bill Clinton described the Obama theme of hope as a “fairy tale.

It’s no surprise that the Clintons would play down the work done by the Civil Rights movement and the idea that we can do more than settle for the least bad option.

Clintonism has always been about settling for the least bad option in a conservative era.

Now that the conservative era may be coming to an end, what strategy is left but to ridicule the idea that people believing in anything more than the imagination-killing pragmatism of centrist politics can make America better?

For the record, Mrs. Clinton’s reading of history is simply wrong. As well-detailed in Carol Polsgrove’s Divided Minds–Intellectuals and the Civil Rights Movement and David L. Chappell’s excellent A Stone of Hope—Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow, many white liberals and white intellectuals were slow to embrace the cause of Civil Rights.

From Stone of Hope—“It is hard to sort out whether liberals cared a great deal about racism, but lacked the power to challenge it, or simply cared too little about racism, until black voters and protesters forced their hand…in the 1960’s.”

While many whites did take personal and political risks to aid the cause of Civil Rights, if Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement had waited for someone other than themselves to bring about freedom, they might well still be waiting.

And if in 2008 we look to Hillary Clinton to inspire us beyond the mess we find ourselves in today, we will also have a very long wait.

By |2008-01-14T00:35:03-04:00January 14th, 2008|Election 2008, Party Politics, Race|Comments Off on Senator Clinton's Comments

Sharpton's Comments Nothing New In White House Races

The recent flap over possibly, or possibly-not, anti-Mormon comments made by Reverend Al Sharpton is nothing new in Presidential politics. Reverend Sharpton was moved to speak about Mormonism because of Mitt Romney’s White House bid. 

Many know that John F. Kennedy had to overcome anti-Catholic feelings to win election in 1960. Less known is that the first major party Catholic nominee was New York Governor Al Smith. Smith was the Democratic candidate in 1928.

Governor Smith’s showing in the South was the worst to that point for a Democrat in the post-Reconstruction era. I’ve sometimes imagined Southern voters of the day sitting at home and figuring out which group of people they disliked most as they decided between Catholic Governor Smith and Herbert Hoover of the party of Lincoln.

The very first Presidential nominating convention in American history was held in 1831 by the Anti-Masonic party. The Anti-Masonic party, as you might suppose, was a party dedicated to limiting the influence of Masons in American life. While Masonry is not a religion, the concept of disliking Masons for being Masons seems close to enough to bias against Catholics and Mormons.

I’m not at all for Mr. Romney in 2008. Still, I hope that when his campaign fails next year Mr. Romney is defeated for his lousy stands on the issues and not because of his faith.    


By |2007-05-11T20:11:35-04:00May 11th, 2007|Election 2008, Other Political Thoughts, Religion|Comments Off on Sharpton's Comments Nothing New In White House Races
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