Who’s Hypocritical?

This revelatory piece came in today’s e-mail. The Lion thinks it worth sharing.


I’m a little confused about this whole leader qualifications thing. Let me see if I have this straight…..

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different.”

Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.

If you teach children about sexual predators, you are irresponsible and eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.

If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that hates America and advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.  Some see the glass as half full, some see the glass as half empty. I say we need a smaller glass.

Thanks to The Lion’s old friend John.


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9 Responses

  1. Notwithstanding a little ornamentation, Barack’s biography reads like a typical politician’s, lacking in direct responsibility for essentially anything but words. He’s made artful promises for a living. I mean, what’s a “brilliant community organizer,” anyway? I am friends with folks who were community organizers in Chicago nearly a decade ago, and the main thrust of their work was building a critical mass for upstart politicians so that they could claim legitimacy. The community was last in the equation.

    Neither he nor his wife are in it for “the people” and, like anyone else, are acting out of their own self-interest. Such gestures almost never concern the present; rather, they are carefully choreographed chapters of what will one day be a politician’s for-the-people past. I mean, you don’t believe–if his bid for the presidency turns out to be successful– that the great american people will benefit from “change” sooner than will the folks who will be paying $30,000 a plate for an Obama steak will, do you?

    No offense to your old friend John, but that’s the sort of stuff that Marlow tossed overboard on the Congo, and for good reason–it stinks.


  2. So first Stephen gives us a circumstantial ad hominem:
    “I am friends with folks who were community organizers in Chicago…”
    Yes, what’s true of your friends’ experiences as community organizers must therefore be true of all community organizers, therefore, Obama’s experience was the same so the claim of “brilliant community organizer” is valueless.
    You can read Obama’s view of organizing for yourself. The intent was to empower communities. If that intent was unrealized by “upstart politicians” who did not act in the best interests of this community which organized to put them in power, than that is not a statement upon the efforts of organizing and attempting to empower communities nor a statement upon those involved in such an effort.

    Next he gives us some unsubstantiated claim:
    “Neither he nor his wife are in it for “the people” and, like anyone else, are acting out of their own self-interest.”
    And this is based on what exactly? A fundraiser dinner where people paid between $2300 – $30,000 to attend? As you can read here, he’s been very adept at avoiding the problems of McCain-Feingold which was to limit big donors. He’s raised a vast sum of money from a multitude of small donors so, imo, if he’s beholden to any particular donor group, it’s the little people more than the big people. Also, by your logic, if a candidate accepts donations around $30,000 a piece from fundraiser dinners then they aren’t for the people. I suppose then no candidate is for the people?

    I’d also be negligent if I were to ignore the fact that Stephen’s comment practically has nothing to do with the post he’s responding to. The post is about hypocritical labels for candidates of the two parties. I suppose since this hypocrisy paints the Republicans negatively, that was the impetus for him to jump in and recklessly attempt to hack down Obama, but that’s still not addressing the subject of the Lion’s post.


  3. I don’t know. How does one “carefully choreograph” their life? While trying to make a living, paying bills and raising a family. I can see people like the Bushs or the Kennedys carefully grooming their children for a political career, but how does a black man in America do it?

    Sounds like revisionism, to me.

    And I thought they were Omaha steaks. 8)


  4. By the same sort of logic, John McCain joined the Navy, arranged to get his plane shot down so he could do five years in a Vietnamese prison so forty or so years later he could run for President with declarations comprising a noun, a verb, and POW. Had it all planned out. Yup.


  5. PhillyChief,

    Give me a break. I mentioned Chicago for obvious reasons, but am friends with a number of people who have been and who continue to be in the line of work. Big city or backwater town–the bottom line in the of community organizers is the same: numbers. And by numbers I don’t mean number of people empowered, but rather the number of votes that can be leveraged in an election. It is no coincidence that the activities that are used to “organize” communities are more numerous immediately before an election. While the people on the ground–typically recent college graduates–might genuinely and passionately care about the community, the people who make rank in those organizations are doing so to legitimize themselves to a rising political star that they may join the ride. Their efforts consist of praying on poor communities with promises that are perennially unrealized. They care about as much about empowering communities as mastercard cares about empowering consumers.

    Precisely: no candidate–at that level–is for the people. Use that as a starting point and history makes a lot more sense.

    Yes, Inquisitor, people do carefully choreograph their lives. You might not, and I might not, but many people in the political express lane do. While it is, of course, only a personal observation, I met several people while serving in the Peace Corps who were serving out of the belief that it was the single strongest resume builder that two and a half years could earn them; it was a humanitarian layover. Their sights were set on the premier lifestyles that are a part of embassy life, or other prestigious international aid organizations. Had I never served, I’d still believe in the mistly snapshots contained in all Peace Corps promotional material. People everyday use what is commonly believed about such organizations–military service, community organizers–to create the appearance of selflessness and sacrifice.

    And no, Grumpy, perhaps McCain didn’t plan on getting his plane shot down. However, it wasn’t until he started dipping into his POW stories that he had any political success. It worked and it works to this day. No, he didn’t plan it, but he certainly maximized the political advantages with which the experience provided him–the way any good politician would. We are all free to believe what we want to believe. I, however, will never believe that all those folks with glittering D.C. lives were brought together by their lifelong committment to the people.


  6. sk

    That’s ‘preying’.

    Community organizers almost by definition are politically involved. I had a friend who was a c.o. for the SCLC. He shared my apartment for a while, officiated at my marriage, and he was a good guy. Therefore they are all good guys.

    I was in the Peace Corps. The people I worked with until I got ill and had to leave weren’t there to build resumes on a humanitarian layover. They were there for a lot of reasons. So I can’t even generalize from them to all the others.

    Your generalizations don’t hold water for the same reasons mine don’t.

    So some of them are ambitious. So what? Do they do good for people on the way up? Some do good. Some do prey. So what?

    As for Obama, you seem to think you know what he was thinking twenty-five years ago. Doubt it. You weren’t there. If he writes he was working to empower people and so on, fine. Did he do good? Seems so. Was he ambitious? Apparently, and so what again? Ambition’s not inherently evil. Ambition without principles, ethics, that’s a different story. That gives us people like Bush, McCain and their crowd.

    Yeah, all those folks in DC aren’t committed to improving the country or the people. A lot of them are. And we don’t always see what they do for their local constituencies.

    Believe what you want, of course. We all do. But when you generalize from a small, personal sample to whole populations, you undermine what you say. I’m about as cynical as they come, but at least I try to put some substance out there to support my cynicism. If I didn’t, the people who hang out here would shred me.


  7. Give me a break.

    Nope. Bullshit generalizations, logical fallacies, and pure nonsense don’t deserve breaks from me, nor are they given away by anyone on this blog.


  8. Ric, PhillyChief,

    Cannot just about everything a single human experiences be dismissed as a generalization? Is there that much stock in a few hyperlinks? A bibliography? Is there any opinion that cannot be undermined?

    Because people’s lives are in the short term, they must make judgements about their surroundings in a fashion timely enough to proceed with their lives. In my short life, I have been provided with very few reasons to believe that policitians put people first. I don’t expect them to. And while I allow for the idea that there might be differences between them, the differences, on a practical, everyday level, are so slight as to be inconsequential; the scale of the issues that confront any president of this country aren’t under anyone’s control.


  9. sk –

    An experience is not a generalization. It’s evidence. How you choose to use that evidence to view the world is up to you. Generalizing from a small sample to a large population is poor use and of little use in determining a truth about an issue.

    The scale of the issues confronting a president aren’t really at issue. As you said, they’re not under anyone’s control for the most part. But how a president acts and reacts is the issue, and that comes from a president’s character and background, which we have to look at and judge.

    You can pick and choose your evidence, and someone else can pick and choose their evidence, but having done so, they can never come to agreement if they’re using different evidence or different definitions. That’s why arguments between atheists and theists are pointless, as generally are arguments between people of different political persuasions.

    An opinion attacked by poor evidence or faulty logic or by lies and distortions is not undermined. Opinions based on such are of no worth. It’s up to us to determine the evidence and the logic at work.


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