Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Schadenfruede TV

My husband and my son, working in tandem with measuring tape and the internet, recently bought a new high-definition, widescreen, digital television for our family room, the first such new-fangled TV we've owned.

Over the last couple of days they've been hooking it up and taming it (it pulls in all kinds of high-numbered channels we never realized were there). They've been winnowing through the channels and the features (it has more menus and the remote has more buttons than I even want to think about), and putting it through its paces.

Watching "Monsters, Inc." was amazing--all that glistening and sparkling and flowing and shining! You can see every gently-waving turquoise and purple hair on "Kitty" (I guess that's worth something--at least worth a rewatch of a pretty charming and funny Pixar film). Personally, what I'm most excited by is that the new TV pulls in C-SPAN 2 (and its "Book TV"), one of my favorite channels, lately dropped by our capricious local cable provider to non-HD TV's.

Anyway, on Saturday afternoon our son was out driving on the interstate in a dual-control car with the driving school instructor, my daughter was over at Grandma's, and my husband and I, alone at last, spent a torrid few minutes together...watching the Democratic Party honchos in Washington, D.C. deal with their Michigan and Florida primary delegates problems.

Talk about entertainment! Talk about rhetoric!

Seeing some Democrats argue in favor of following "the rules" (do Democrats still care about rules?) while others argued in favor of expediency, all shrouded in the sacred mantle of pretending to be "inclusive," "democratic," and honoring "diversity" (no Republicans, conservatives, or individualists need apply) and the sacred nature of "counting every vote" (no matter how illegitimate, and no matter what the Superdelegates may subsequently do) was quite funny--especially since the pro forma voting followed an unexpectedly long "lunch break" where the real deals were struck behind closed doors.

I especially enjoyed the mob of hecklers in the peanut gallery, Hillary supporters venting their feelings of victimization and entitlement, and Harold Ickes' fervent speech insisting on Hillary's rights to the spoils after having barged her way onto the primary ballots while the other candidates complied with their party's rulings and did not campaign ("Clinton took 50 percent of the vote in Florida, where all the Democratic candidates agreed not to campaign. In Michigan, where Obama took his name off the ballot, she took 55 percent to 40 percent for "uncommitted.")

Great TV, rivaling the old soap opera "Dallas" for struggles of "wealth, sex, intrigue, and power."

After that, I turned to Fox New's coverage of Barack Obama's press conference concerning his resignation from Trinity United Church of Christ. Evidently a private resignation letter he had sent to his church had just been leaked and he was forced to meet with the press and give a statement; he also chose to take questions from the reporters. Having heard that he is a much less-glib and intelligent-seeming speaker when he is not reading from a teleprompter, I was curioius both to hear what he had to say, and to see for myself how he would say it.

He does come across as a pretty normal, basically likeable, and I am sure, a kindhearted, guy, less inarticulate in answering questions that I expected, given the buzz around about it. But he certainly is a man either flummoxed by, or evading, the philosophical and political ramifications of his actions. He does seem to want to spit out his rather ineffectual-sounding reasons and let it drop at that, and seems woefully inadequate to dealing with reasonable, probing questions prompted by what he's done, beyond whatever public face he wants to put on things.

When one reporter asked what his response was to the fact that resigning from Trinity now seems to be politically expedient, and that perhaps his joining Trinity in the first place was a political move to enhance his standing in his Southside Chicago community, he shot back that he thought that question was offensive, and that that is not the reason why he chose his church. Maybe so, but since hundreds of people are thinking, wondering, and saying that very thing themselves, why doesn't Barack Obama have a better way of answering that question than to attack the person who posed it?

He also said he hopes a discussion on faith will be brought more into the forefront of American politics and the Presidential campaign. I wished then that, since he had just described Trinity Church as "not a church worthy of denouncing,” someone would ask him if "black liberation theology" will be on his list of required doctrines in the next church he is looking to join. But nobody at the press conference kicked that question forward. I doubt anyone with access to Senator Obama ever will. But if Obama turns out to be the Democratic Presidential candidate, I hope John McCain will put such unanswered questions to good use in the upcoming Presidential debates.

What does Senator Obama think about "black liberation theology" anyway? Is he able to tell us in plain words or will he use vague platitudes in another lame (or calculated?) attempt to soothe all parties with generalities that do not answer the question honestly?

Roger L. Simon says it well:

Black Liberation Theology is reactionary and racist. Anyone who wants to see progress between the races should stay as far away from it as possible. It was fake at the beginning and it is fake now. That Obama ever had anything to do with it is repellent. He was not of the generation of Stokeley Carmichael and H. Rap Brown. He should have known better. Now he is riding the whirlwind.

I agree. Senator Obama did the best he could to spin both the harmlessness of Trinity Church, the harmlessness of his 20-year affiliation with it, and the beneficence (to the church and its other members) of his choosing to resign from Trinity Church at this juncture. But it was pretty obvious the harmlessness and the beneficence is all an illusion he wishes to maintain. The mask has slipped.

Roger Simon also says this:

Pfleger proclaims to the adoring crowd that blacks have the right to be angry forever about slavery. They should not forgive. Think how racist and condescending that statement is toward African Americans if you examine it. It is like saying that Jews should never forgive the current generation of Germans for the Holocaust. How cruel and self-defeating would that be? Yet Pfleger and, by extension the monumentally naive Axelrod, wish to continue racism "by any means necessary" (subconsciously or consciously for their own profit). Pfleger even resurrects the hoary "white skin privilege" from my days on the left. What self-defeating junk. And this is the cesspool from which Barack Obama has sprung. No wonder he doesn't know what to say other than platitudes.

I agree, and I'll say it again: since the Rev. Wright YouTube videos surfaced, none of these revelations about the Obamas' background necessarily had to be fatal to Senator Obama's Presidential chances, IF he had simply come clean with the American public in a sincere, timely fashion, and recognized and acknowledged honestly that he had made a mistake in affiliating himself with such a church, such pastors, such people, such philosophy.

But he either has a problem in fully recognizing it (bad judgment? bad thinking? it's really what he believes?) or in acknowledging it (bad ambition?). So he's either a dupe, a liar, or buys the whole bag and is trying to soft-peddle and spoon-feed it to the American people as desirable, "non-controversial," and mainstream-acceptable.

Anyway, that's the way it looks on High-Def widescreen digital TV.

UPDATE: Powerline's P.S. to the whole long Obama-Trinity crack-up-- "it should begin to dawn on attentive observers that Barack Obama represents a type that flourishes on many college campuses. The technical term that applies to Obama is b.s. artist."

It has dawned on many observers, whether the media gets it or not.

UPDATE: Via Instapundit: The Democrats have "a totally irrational system of nominating our President."

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