Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shark on Dead Tree

Read my column on Obama in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for another thoughtful contribution.

I think this is a year when white voters will respond to a different politics of resentment and populism will die by the secret ballot.

Perhaps a majority will see Obama is not qualified to be President

Anonymous said...

I wanted to see your blog to confirm what I expected after reading your blatantly biased article. I was right.

Anonymous said...

Obama the least experienced in government? He's had 12 years of legislative experience vs.George Bush, a governor for 5 years in a state that was run by the legislature. Probably not the best comparison given the past 7 years, however, not only has he traveled overseas before he will have reached the presidency, he's lived there.

Anonymous said...

Yes anon 1:09 it is true. Rick is an evil conservative. So am I.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Rick. "May well be the least experienced . . . person" ever to be the nominee of a major political party? When you're writing for your blog, this kind of off-the-cuff inaccuracy may be excusable, but when you're writing the lead opinion piece in the Sunday Journal Sentinel? How does Obama's experience stack up against Wiliam Jennings Bryan's two terms in the House of Representatives when Bryan was first nominated, at age 36? Or Horace Greeley's three months in Congress? How about the estimable Alton Parker's ten years as a New York state court judge? For that matter, how does Obama's experience in the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate compare against Abe Lincoln's four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives and one term in the U.S. House?

Obama has written two articulate, thoughtful, best-selling books. They offer a lot of insight into him as a person, his faith, and his policies. It's no more legitimate to say that Obama's purported lack of experience is an excuse to judge him through the prism of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than it would be to say that, since you have never held elective office, we should be divining your views on same-sex unions by taking a look at the actions of the religious denomination you chose to join as an adult.

To get to know Barack Obama, read what he has written. Don't impute to him the political views of his former spiritual adviser. Many of us sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday, for years, and derive spiritual sustenance -- without necessarily agreeing with all that is said from the pulpit, especially of a more political nature.

Rick Esenberg said...

I grant that you have found some comparable nominees although you had to go back quite a way. I could argue about Greeley's nongovernmental experience and the fact that Lincoln had come to national prominence in his race against Stephen Douglas but that'd be hairsplitting. The fact remains that Obama has a lot less experience than we are used to and that this - combined with the nature of his campaign - naturally raises questions about who he is.

That the Wright matter is pertinent is not rebutted by the casual inaccuracy of treating Wright as someone who is simply the pastor of the church he chose to join. His relationship with Obama was special (Obama tells us so)and his ministry cannot be divorced from his politics. That is an essential attribute of black liberation theology. There is no way that you sit in the pews and divorce the two.

I argue that this message - both politically and spiritually - is toxic and counterproductive. That Obama did not see that is - along with much other corroborating evidence - pertinent in assessing his political instincts.