Archive for the ‘Harvard Law’ Category

A Brilliant Fraud: Obama and The Reverend, No Deal

March 23, 2008

 By Charles Krauthammer

 Charles Krauthammer

The Washington Post

Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A17

The beauty of a speech is that you don’t just give the answers, you provide your own questions. “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which“controversial” remarks?

Wright’s assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented HIV “as a means of genocide against people of color”? Wright’s claim that America was morally responsible for Sept. 11 — “chickens coming home to roost” — because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?) .
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What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?

Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: “There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?”

But that is not the question. The question is why didn’t he leave that church? Why didn’t he leave — why doesn’t he leave even today — a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) “God damn America”? Obama’s 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.

(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there’s Wright, but at the other “end of the spectrum” there’s Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, “who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.” But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?

“I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother.” What exactly was Grandma’s offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus’s time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.

Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one’s time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?

(b) White guilt. Obama’s purpose in the speech was to put Wright’s outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, “We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country,” and then he proceeds to do precisely that. What lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.

This contextual analysis of Wright’s venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It’s the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.

But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness?
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This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?

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Eliot Spitzer and The Belushi Syndrome

March 17, 2008

By Bill O’Reilly
The Washington Times
March 17, 2008

Let’s analyze the Eliot Spitzer situation without emotion because there are lessons to be learned here. First of all, Mr. Spitzer is obviously a smart guy, having graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School. So his conduct is perplexing in its stupidity.

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation in ... 

Mr. Spitzer made his reputation as a tough prosecutor. He understood money transfer traces, wiretaps, informants and the rest of the law enforcement landscape. He also knew how to build cases against powerful people who were doing shady things.
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So he was no huckster preacher trying to make bucks off God while privately playing games with the devil. And he was no Wilbur Mills, the Arkansas congressman who got drunk out of his mind with a stripper in the back seat of his limo. No, Mr. Spitzer is a completely different animal.
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If you watch cable TV news, you will hear the braying pack talk about Mr. Spitzer’s arrogance, his “I’m above it all” mentality. But if you examine the facts, this shallow analysis doesn’t wash.
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Mr. Spitzer had to know that repeated visits with people breaking the law — prostitutes — put him at enormous risk. At any time, any one of those ladies might have been arrested and, facing prosecution, could have easily offered authorities his name in return for all charges being dropped.
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The ladies also could have blackmailed Mr. Spitzer, could have sold their stories about him to the tabloid media, could have done many things to destroy his life.
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Then there’s the money. He knew wire transfers to offshore facilities are closely monitored as a part of terrorist surveillance. One of the ways the Bush administration has damaged al Qaeda has been to choke off its funding. Banks and the Internal Revenue Service closely watch money moved to and from the U.S.
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Mr. Spitzer also knew that talking on the telephone to pimps, people setting up liaisons with prostitutes, left him open to being tapped — especially because the ladies for hire were being moved across state lines, which makes it a federal offense. Mr. Spitzer knew all of the above.
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So you’re telling me that Eliot Spitzer thought he wouldn’t get caught? Sure, and I’m Paris Hilton.

No, what’s in play here is what I call the “Belushi Syndrome.” That’s when a famous person who has money and success subconsciously tries to destroy himself. You see it all the time — movie stars, athletes, politicians doing incredibly stupid stuff.
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By all accounts, comedian John Belushi was repeatedly warned by his wife and closest friends that his rampant drug use could kill him. Nevertheless, he continued to take deadly combinations of heroin and cocaine, knowing the danger involved.
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Death found him at age 33.

Dan Aykroyd (left) and John Belushi.

The Blues Brothers: Dan Aykroyd (left) and John Belushi..
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Eliot Spitzer also knew the danger he was facing. But some kind of deep self-loathing propelled him to dismiss the inevitable. I mean, think about it: You are a sitting governor, spending tens of thousands of dollars on hookers? Come on. Maybe Caligula could get away with that, but not an American politician in a tabloid age.

This is not some dime-store psychoanalysis. There are many people walking around who are deeply self-destructive, and who will hurt themselves and others around them. That’s a fact.
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A self-destructive, self-loathing personality will find a way to blow everything up, and it doesn’t matter what kind of career the person has. We all know people like this. Stay away from them.
 

Bill O’Reilly is a nationally syndicated columnist and the host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of the book “Who’s Looking Out For You?”