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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman
August 27, 2008
Racism and a Cup of Joe
If you want to know if racism is still alive and well in America, especially in American politics and media, all you have to do is watch cable news talking head shows. As I watched the Imus replacement, Morning Joe on MSNBC (called the "Liberal" Cable News Channel due to Keith Olbermann's Countdown which has the audacity to actually tell the truth) this morning, I noticed something which might pass others by. It was a small thing but something I had noticed before, in particular during a Bush White House speech about a year or so ago.
Former GOP one-term representative from Florida, Joe Scarborough, (Scarborough came in with Newt Gingrich in 1995 and left in 1997) while addressing Newark Mayor Corey Booker, addressed him as "Corey". Now, certainly calling a man you're familiar with by his first name is no crime, but there appears to be a concerted effort by many in the GOP to make the distinction between white politicians and African American politicians, and it goes as high up as the White House. For example, while addressing a gathering which included a number of reprehensive from both parties, President Bush had referred to the white legislators there as "Congressman" or "Senator". However, when it came time to acknowledge Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, President Bush thanked "Rahm" for being there.
Similarly, when Joe Scarborough. a former himself, interviewed former New York City Rudy Giuliani about a year ago, "Rudy" was called "Mayor Rudy Giuliani" and not once called by his first name.
Is there something about African American legislators and candidates which makes people such as President Bush and Joe Scarborough feel more familiar with them than their Caucasian counterparts? Or is it just the good old boy in them which makes their lack of respect taught for generations before them feel that they simply can't address these men and women by their appropriate and earned titles, or even "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Miss" or "Ms."?)
Well at least they stopped calling African American grown men "boy" or the entire American African American population "You People":...
... at least not in public.
A Good Night to be a Democrat
It was a good night to be a Democrat last night. First it was Bill Clinton who was, once more, the Bill Clinton we all loved as President in the 1990's. The last President to leave a surplus in our national treasury left no doubt as to who he is supporting for President this November. Former President Clinton spoke of Barack Obama as an accomplished man with the vision this nation needs to get us out from under what the Bush administration has left us after these past eight years.
Comparing last night to Tuesday night, where we heard the likes of Fox News analysts spewing their venom and telling us all that Hillary Clinton only mentioned Barack Obama's name ten times, Bill Clinton put his support directly and firmly behind the now-official nominee:
“Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.”
According to Right Wing news "analysts" - a term which has come to be synonymous with editorialists - those were the words missing from Senator Clinton's speech on Tuesday night, a speech who anyone other than a Bushie, McBushie or Fox News Hound couldn't have misconstrued as anything but clear and direct support for her formal rival.
(Note: Look for Fox News "analysts all over the place as "guest-perts - "guest experts" - on various shows where politics is, at best secondary. On the one-hour-plus trip from Manhattan to my New Jersey home today, XM Satellite Radios POTUS station 130 had a Fox "guest-pert" giving his take on the ho-hum Democratic national Convention. Then as I arrived home and turned on the television, I had the misfortune to tune in and see another Fox News "guest-pert" on one of the Hollywood entertainment and celebrity Paparazzi gossip shows telling the same story as his satellite radio colleague.)
Clinton was Clinton again as he used the kind of humor and insight which earns him millions of dollars a year in speaking engagements worldwide today. As he addressed the crowd about the hard-fought primary battle, which saw his wife take a close second place and make history as the first real female challenger for a major party's nomination, Clinton joked:
“The campaign generated so much heat, it increased global warming,”
And President Clinton wasn't even the opening act. Prior to his speech, his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, stopped the roll call vote when it got to be New York's turn, and asked for a nomination by acclimation. It was approved and, just like that, Senator Obama became Candidate Obama.
Certainly the Clinton's were hard acts to follow, but they were followed and in great and powerful fashion.
Among the many US armed services veterans who graced the stage was a current sitting Congressman from Pennsylvania, Patrick Murphy, who was joined by a large contingent of other Iraq war veterans. Murphy, a Democrat and the only veteran of the Iraq war in either house of Congress, made a compassioned speech and drew major applause from the partisan crowd. One has to think that he would have drawn pretty good praise from any crowd as well.
Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, a short-list VP candidate and a man many said was too dull to be chosen by Obama for the number two slot, lit up the crowd as well.
2004 Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry also came out with fire. Kerry put forth the best speech of his career. In fact, it was such a great speech many of us thought that it should have been made sometime four years ago. My first reaction was, "Where was this guy in 2004?"
And finally it was Joe Biden's turn. The Delaware Senator was introduced by his son Beau in another emotional speech from the heart that had the camera showing many a wet eye in the crowd. He spoke of his father's commitment to him and his brother after their mother and sister had been killed in a car crash; and the two remaining Biden children were left hospitalized. He reminded us all what a middle class champion his father has been for thirty-five years in the US Senate. The Senator's son, who is off to Iraq as a member of the armed services, is also the Delaware Attorney General, one with a bright future himself.
Stay safe Beau.
Then Senator Biden came out. He and his son shared a great moment together and then gave his own passion-filled speech about his life, his accomplishments and why his new friend Barack Obama will be a great President, much better than his old friend John McCain would be.
My favorite moment came when Senator Biden made the mistake of saying the name "Bush" when he wanted to say "McCain". Biden immediately called it a "Freudian Slip" and made the note that it's easy to confuse the two.
The surprise which came at the end of the evening was only a surprise to those on the floor of Denver's Pepsi Center without the benefit of text messaging. Senator Obama came out at the end of Biden's speech to cheers and applause and tears from the crowd, then left the stage to give Biden, his wife Jill and their family a moment alone on with the Democratic faithful.
It was a very good night to be a Democrat.
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