Why Righties Are Living on a Different Planet

As if you didn’t already know that they’re living on a different planet — see Bill Whittle’s post at NRO — Barack Obama is quoted from a radio interview he gave in 2001 on the subject of funding schools equally after the Brown vs Board of Ed. decision. — keep that context in mind —

Obama speaks:

You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil-rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be okay, but the Supreme Court never entered into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution — at least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: [It] says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.

And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil-rights movement was because the civil-rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.

A caller asks, “The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn’t terribly radical. My question is (with economic changes)… my question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work, economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to change place?”

Obama replies:

You know, I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way. [snip] You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, you know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time. You know, the court is just not very good at it, and politically, it’s just very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard.

So I think that, although you can craft theoretical justifications for it, legally, you know, I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.”

Whittle and the entire Right Blogosphere believe they’ve found the smoking-gun proof that Obama is a socialist. I’m serious. That’s how insane they are. Righties are absolutely bouncing off the walls convinced they’ve found “the bombshell” that will sink Obama’s campaign. Just read Whittle’s “interpretation” of Obama’s remarks. They are pathological.

As Prometheus 6 says, “What they are doing is standing strong against equal rights for all Americans with this attack. And The National Review is right in the mix. And all of them disgust me.”

The McCain campaign is putting out the lie that Obama called it a “tragedy” that the courts didn’t order “redistributive change.” As Greg Sargent notes,

As you can see, Obama simply didn’t say that the court’s faiulre to take up redistribution was a tragedy. Rather, he was arguing that it was a “tragedy” that the Civil Rights movement expected the courts to do too much in this regard, which led the movement away from other ways of accomplishing redistributive goals, such as organizing and legislative politicking.

And taking such matters out of courts and instead working through the legislative process is something righties have said they favor, or so I thought.

The problems is, of course, that if the entire noise-making apparatus of the Right jumps on this lie and pounds on it together, they could peel some votes away from Obama. So even though it’s absolute nonsense, it could do some damage. Stay tuned.

See also Oliver Willis and Martin Lewis.

12 thoughts on “Why Righties Are Living on a Different Planet

  1. God, that’s depressing. But with any luck, they’ll just shout and stomp among themselves and it won’t polute thinking people. After all, they’re already not voting for Obama.

    Btw, I’m in Republican Country in far western part of what most would consider to be Northern Virginia. I was just cruising through Front Royal, which should be solid right. And there along the road was a huge yellow sign: Firefighters for Obama / Biden.

  2. Big News: Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska Found Guilty On All Charges

    Don’t know what the sentence will be… he’s sure to contest the verdict to a higher court (or get Sarah Palin to let him off, maybe).

    One thing is pretty sure, though. He won’t get elected Senator (or so CNN says.)

    Under The LobsterScope

  3. The Obama campaign responded to this, saying that the interview isn’t about distribution of wealth at all. More here. If orchestrated properly, this could cause a dent in Obama’s momentum, but I think most will see it as just more noise, along the lines of William Ayers and Obama’s birth certificate.

    Actually, I would love to hear a real discussion about distribution of wealth, and so called socialism in this country. Channeling all wealth and all power upward is what the Rs are all about. And that’s fine – if they want to be greedy, myopic pickpockets – so be it.

    But the masses of flag sucking halfwits in this country – who got conned into carrying water for these greedy bastards – and who are watching their economic lives circle the drain because of policies enacted by the same – deserve a real discussion, nay an education, about wealth redistribution. I say bring it on.

    If the United States continues in its economic nosedive, that discussion is going to come anyway. Better now – before people get really angry that their lives have washed away – than later.

  4. Dim Whittle!


    It just occurred to me: there was something beneficial (for the Right) in having a president whose utterances were unparseable: “Uhhhh… strategery… water driblets… Bin Laden… uhhhh… security… nucular… uhhhhh….” You couldn’t play cut & paste with those utterances in any manner that would make Dubya sound even half as nefarious as his administration truly was.

    Obama, otoh, says a lot of smart, deep stuff… offers up many, many big words that can be snipped and shifted, rendered assbackwards and out of context, so that the electorate is bewitched, bothered and bewildered by a bunch of things Obama neither said nor implied.

    I think it’s too late, though, for the fridge-magnets poetry contest. Too many neo-centrist Republicans have stepped up for Obama. And Obama’s campaign doesn’t let this crap slide.

  5. Ow! I tried reading that Whittle piece and my brain hurts.

    I kinda wish there were some vocal people out on Obama’s left flank who were running around saying “Redistribution? Redistribution? You want to talk about taking money out of people’s pockets? OK, fine. Let’s talk about it. Pallet loads of cash to Iraq? No-bid contracts for Haliburton, and so many others? Jack Abramoff? Dick Cheney? Ted Stevens? Seven-house McCain?

    Hellooooo! The GOP believes in full-scale redistribution of wealth – from taxpayers into the pockets of the rich, and their cronies.”

    That would, of course, be too radical and “socialist” for the Obama campaign itself. But I would like to hear that point being made somewhere.

    The debate shouldn’t be about redistribution or not, it’s about where the money comes from, and where it goes. Personally, I’m fine with having a few thousand of the millions those AIG guys got get redistributed my way. But I’m an unreal American.

  6. The righties are in their last throes. A few bitter dead enders (like Whittle) offering pockets of resistance, but it basically comes down to a mopping up operation for the Obama campaign.

    Defeat isn’t such a hard pill to swallow if you wash it down with humility.

    Question: When Obama is sworn in on January 20th, will that mark the official fufillment of the Civil Rights Movement?

  7. Weeeeee, I’m sure the wingnuts love hearing that word “reparative” in a conversation with Obama (no matter that he didn’t say it). “Reparative” i.e. see them fuckin coloreds are gonna get reparations. Goes well with last weeks “spread the wealth” i.e. those lazy no tax paying niggers are going to get handouts. And who can forget last months “its Fannie and Freddie” i.e. all those poor black people buying them their fancy houses caused the collapse of the entire global economy.

    Too bad they launched this latest desperate tactic on the same day that the senior senator (from Alaska no-less) is convicted on multiple counts of corruption. Awe too bad, darn reality keeps getting in the way.

  8. The ‘tards, who believe that we ought to have wars in every corner of the planet, and prisons to hold all the undesirables, and potholes fixed, and pretty suburban schools with the best teachers….. don’t think that THEY should have to PAY for any of it! What a bunch of frigging BUMS they are. One McKeating supporter probably costs this country more in Government largesse than 25 AFDC families.

  9. Moonbat, people who think that government spending somehow vanishes from the economy are going to have a Real Hard Time understanding Econ 101. You have to think a bit and understand a few simple abstract concepts, and these guys don’t do abstract. “Arabs: bad. Republicans: good. Liberals: very bad.” Simple “facts” drummed into them is about their limit. Besides, they don’t believe in math and science, so a science with a lot of math in it is “bad”. Laudable goal, but I suspect unattainable.

  10. What a week this is starting to be! Obama is tying up a controlled and well thought out campaign with the support of more and more people (including leading Republican spokespeople and influential Independents), while McCain and Palin, supported by the most extreme 527 groups, are trying anything to smear the Democratic candidate and are resorting to tricks to turn the numbers around.

    In front of crowds in the 100,000 range, Obama summed up his campaign with this statement:

    In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope. In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need. In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo. In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history. That’s what’s at stake. That’s what we’re fighting for.

    This will likely be the standard Obama line throughout the week, barring anything unexpected.

    We are getting some desperate things on the other side, however. One 527 television commercial in Pennsylvania and Ohio is bringing up Reverend Wright again (not something which McCain himself has endorsed). A fake flier has appeared in Hampton Roads, Virginia which, according to a newspaper article from The Virginian-Pilot says:
    …article continues at: Under The LobsterScope

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