Righteous criticism of Barack Obama has been made by Hillary Clinton’s supporters and others because of his association with people like William Ayers, Tony Rezko, and Reverand Jeremiah Wright. He has also been justifiably criticized for the misogyny, sexism and CDS-fueled abuse that has been directed at Hillary and her supporters from the fauxgressive blogosphere.
But what if there was incontrovertable proof that Senator Obama did not share the beliefs of any of the actual individuals involved? What if he strongly disagreed with the actions and words of Ayers, Rezko, Wright, and the Cheetopians, but merely maintained the associations with them, and/or accrued the benefits of their support, in order to reach the White House? What if he intended to throw them all under the bus once he was victorious, and then govern as a true liberal/progressive?
I hope you would agree with me that if all that were true, he would still be a hypocritical opportunist who was unworthy of the Presidency.
Freedom of speech, religion and association require tolerance for different beliefs and opinions, but bigotry and discrimination are anethema to liberal/progressive ideology. To be a liberal or progressive requires that you have “zero tolerance” for any kind of bigotry or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. It must be denounced, opposed, and disassociated from.
The meltdown of Progressive Blogosphere 1.0 is due in large part to major “A” list bloggers turning a blind eye to misogyny and sexism because it helped the candidate they supported. MASSIVE FAIL!
Remember during the February 26th debate when the late Tim Russert asked Senator Obama about being endorsed by Louis Farrakhan? From Media Matters:
OBAMA: You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments. I think that they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African-American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.
Following Obama’s answer, Russert asked, “Do you reject his support?” Obama then replied, “Well, Tim, you know, I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy,” adding: “I have been very clear in my denunciations of him and his past statements, and I think that indicates to the American people what my stance is on those comments.”
After some more back and forth between Obama and Russert, Hillary took Obama to school:
CLINTON: Tim, I just want to add something here, because I faced a similar situation when I ran for the Senate in 2000 in New York. And in New York, there are more than the two parties, Democratic and Republican. And one of the parties at that time, the Independence Party, was under the control of people who were anti-Semitic, anti-Israel. And I made it very clear that I did not want their support. I rejected it. I said that it would not be anything I would be comfortable with. And it looked as though I might pay a price for that. But I would not be associated with people who said such inflammatory and untrue charges against either Israel or Jewish people in our country.
And, you know, I was willing to take that stand, and, you know, fortunately the people of New York supported me and I won. But at the time, I thought it was more important to stand on principle and to reject the kind of conditions that went with support like that.
RUSSERT: Are you suggesting Senator Obama is not standing on principle?
CLINTON: No. I’m just saying that you asked specifically if he would reject it. And there’s a difference between denouncing and rejecting. And I think when it comes to this sort of, you know, inflammatory — I have no doubt that everything that Barack just said is absolutely sincere. But I just think, we’ve got to be even stronger. We cannot let anyone in any way say these things because of the implications that they have, which can be so far-reaching.
A political candidate has no control over how people vote, and can only “reject” votes by resigning. But they can refuse to accept donations from people they disagree with, and they can reject any support or endorsement from those same people. A liberal/progressive candidate must speak out forcefully against bigotry or inappropriate acts committed in their name, even if they had no prior knowledge or involvement. Senator Obama failed to do that.
Liberal/progressive individuals, groups, coalitions and/or parties cannot associate with or accept support from bigots of any kind. They cannot compromise themselves ethically in order to win. “Winners never cheat and cheaters never win.”
You cannot be a little bit unethical any more than you can be a little bit pregnant. You either are or you aren’t. If you find out your group contains bigots, you must kick them out or leave.
And you can’t wait until after the election either. That’s zero tolerance.