Friday, April 18, 2008

The final weekend

Here’s your Friday morning update on the road to the Pennsylvania Primary:

* 4 days until Pennsylvania goes to the polls on April 22. We are careening into the final weekend.

Apparently Hillary Clinton has developed quite an appetite for Delco. After waiting until the last week of the campaign to show up on our turf, she’s been hanging out in these environs regularly this week.

She hoofed it around Drexel Hill on Sunday. Yesterday she was at Haverford College with daughter Chelsea and her mother.

Today she is planning a town hall meeting at Radnor High School with Congressman Joe Sestak. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Husband Bill will be criss-crossing the state today and tomorrow, starting this morning in Moon Township, and then on to Connelsville, Somerset, Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Lansdale and finally in Philly. He’s right back out on the road tomorrow, with events in Wilkes-Barre, Meadville, Hermitage, Beaver Falls and Waynesburg.

Barack Obama will be in Erie and Williamsport today, followed by a rally at 6 p.m. on Independence Mall in Philly.

Then tomorrow he’s planning a train tour on the R5 Paoli line, with stops in Wynnewood, Paoli, Downingtown, Lancaster and finally Harrisburg.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Times:

In response to C. Scott Shield's article Political correctness, 'Hussein' undermine values in America from Sunday, April 6, 2008.

I applaud you for screaming Senator Obama's full name. Free speech is a right provided to all United States citizens under the first amendment of our constitution. I say United States citizens to clarify your reference to Americans. Are United States citizens the only constituents good enough to be called Americans? A good number of our worldly brothers and sisters also have the right to be called Americans. Contrary to your opinion, it is politically correct to identify him by his full name. I do have a problem with the derogatory nature of the tone of your column, which has absolutely nothing to do with political correctness.

The truth of the matter is that a good number of Senator Obama's supporters warmly embrace conservative republicans' negative connotation of his middle name. It reflects that fact the republicans have nothing of substance to run against the democratic platform. Anyone who is paying attention this primary season realizes the presumptive republican nominee's ideology is more closely identifiable with the democratic platform, which is precisely why conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have been leaning into Senator McCain for not being "conservative" enough.

The audacity of Senators Obama and McCain for being a party to producing nonpartisan legislation that will actually provide direction that will help in getting things accomplished in Washington!!

Senator McCain has not been browbeaten by political correctness into denouncing the use of Senator Obama's middle name. He practiced solid Christian values and sound judgment to disagree with the derogatory natured comments by conservative republican talk radio host Bill Cunningham. Senator Obama does not think America stinks, rather he loves this country and understands the further greatness to which we can aspire. Loving your country does not mean you have to agree with all actions taken by your government. Our right via the first amendment to disagree with our government without retribution represents one of the greatest gifts we have as United States citizens. Not only is the freedom speech not a right in many countries, daring to speak your mind against the government if often punishable by death. The first amendment also states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This provides all United States citizens with the freedom of religion, which represents another one of the strongest cultural elements of our nation.

The Christian values you claim to be running side by side with American values represents merely one of the many that do. Not only is the freedom of religion not a right in many countries, daring to celebrate a non-government aligned religion it is often punishable by death. As it relates to religion, there is a double standard being applied to commentary of Senators Obama and McCain's pastors.

Senator Obama denounced statements that were made by his pastor, not because he was pressured to do so, rather he exercised Christian values and sound judgment to disagree with nature of the comments. The snippets of the Rev. Wright's faith footnote after September 11, 2001 being looped on broadcast and Internet news outlets have been taken grossly out of context. One of the most controversial statements was when Rev. Wright mentioned "chickens coming home to roost." He was actually quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorism task force, who was speaking on FOX News. He was quoting Peck as saying that America’s foreign policy has put the nation in peril.

I find it hard to argue with the Rev. Wright's statements, as they were based on accurate reflections of our nation's history. Rev. Wright's key theme for that sermon was September 11th presented a time for self-examination of ourselves and our families, and that we should thank God for all that he has provided and that he gave us another chance to do His will.

In the meantime, Senator McCain has not denounced statements by a pastor he has embraced, Rev. John Hagee, who compares the Roman catholic church (the epitome of the Christian values you profess) to the reign of Adolph Hitler's Nazi party. Why are the conservative talk radio hosts not up in arms over the Rev. Hagee's remarks, which speak directly against the Christian values they claim to embrace?

If you are coming to the table with statements that Senator Obama believes in abortion on demand (Obama believes in a balance of the moral elements of abortion and a woman's right to choose), the elimination of the second amendment's often misunderstood and debated right to bear arms (Obama believes that while the second Amendment creates an individual right and that the Constitution permits federal, state and local government to adopt reasonable and common sense gun safety measures), the use of government to suppress religious freedom (Obama has clearly stated that we are a nation of many faiths, those with no faith at all, and that the religious practices of all must be respected), and the elimination of private-property rights (Obama is actually a strong supporter of private-property rights), you have got to come with facts (which are lacking in your column). Mark Twain once said "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

Your agreement with Glenn Beck's suggestion that Senator Obama's vision for the United States is similar to the vision of fascists of the 1930's is absurd. The first lesson in every history class I have attended is "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them." The most prevalent fascism I recall through those history lessons was Adolph Hitler's reign, whose Nazi party did not allow for racial integration through ethnic cleansing, and purportedly successfully instilled German nationalism in 1933 by setting fire to the Reichstag building, which proved to be a valuable exercise for the Nazi party to suspend most human rights provided for by the 1919 constitution via the Reichstag Decree. Draw your own conclusions on how this history might be applied to events that have occurred since a "conservative" George W. Bush took office in 2000.

Your concept of our nation being taken over by Islam is quite possible, however, not as an effect of the election of Senator Obama, rather the policies of the administration of the conservative republican hero, Ronald Reagan, who embraced the concept of joining forces with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other Muslim nations to support the Mujahideen resistance in the Soviet-Afghan War. Our chickens coming home to roost, so to speak.

Barack Obama will represent the interests of United States (as have all past Democratic and Republican presidents), regardless of his Pastor's position on matters of the government, theology, politics, and race. He will need to undo the damage to our diplomatic relationships that have been deeply scarred by our current administration.

The difference in Senator Obama is his real life experiences as a community organizer, his judgment to oppose the war in Iraq, his intuition on foreign policy with Pakistan, his ability to engage people to be more involved in our community and government, his calling our country to strive for greatness, and his promise of working with all of us to accomplish greatness. Many people I know, who had given up on our government and politics, are re-engaging and demanding more from themselves, others, and their government. Senator Obama has kick started their passion for this country, as he is prepared to lead with us at his side on day one.

God bless Barack Hussein Obama (screaming) for embracing the values that embody the spirit of the United States of America.

April 21, 2008 at 3:59 PM 

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