Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Obama’s Acceptance Speech and The Islamophobic Smear Campaign

If Barack Obama were a doctor, he would get an A for diagnostic skill and a C for his ability to prescribe treatment. His acceptance speech last night was no different — a grand expression of each of those traits. Yes, he laid out a bunch of specifics, but did so as a laundry list of policy visions which even he admitted were going to cost a great deal of money — money which won’t come from the taxes he promised to cut, and surely can not come from his promised “fine tooth comb” analyses of the budget (“hey look, I found billions of dollars!?).
So either last night was pandering, which I do not believe, or it was a gentle pitch for the kind of class-warfare based redistributionist policy in which he genuinely believes. Senator Obama has said numerous times, including in the recent Obamanomics article in the New York Times, that he believes not in fairness, but in equity. There is a world of difference between the two and I think that he should be taken at his word.
On the other hand, his sense of what most Americans are experiencing, of his opponent’s out-of-touchness (however well meaning and sincere), and his desire to re-make the way we do politics, are all not only inspiring, but dead on. I challenge anyone to find a flaw in Obama’s assessment of the challenges we face or his ability to frame them in a way that invites more people to face up to them. You may not like his way of responding to those challenges, and I would join you in that dislike for some of those ways, but his diagnostic skill remains stellar.
I wonder this morning, in light of the challenges we face at home and abroad, if we can better afford a president who is out of touch with the nation but sometimes more responsible in his approach to a specific challenge, or one who appreciates what we are up against but may sometimes respond in ways we don’t like. What do you think?


I also wonder this morning about the flurry of e-mail I received yesterday about Barack Obama being a Muslim and the implication of that “fact” for Jews and for Israel. Actually I don’t wonder about it at all, it makes me angry, sad, and a little ashamed that I am part of a religious community that is still susceptible to such lies.
This has nothing to do with how I feel about Obama as president. It has to do with the underlying realities in this situation. And yes, there is an ongoing effort to respond with more accurate information, which people should certainly have before making any decisions in November. But again, the need for such a counter-campaign of accurate information only proves how serious the problem is.
The idea that Obama could be a Muslim is only politically problematic because lots of people hate Muslims. To be fair, polling consistently shows that Evangelical Christians, even more than Jews, believe this, but it’s ugly no matter what. Just imagine the response of the ADL if people started to question Joe Lieberman’s loyalty to America based on his Jewishness!
There is no question that Barack Obama’s record of support for, and statements about, Israel do not always reflect the passion and personal connection evidenced by John McCain, but his voting record does. So, we can have our differences, but perpetuating a situation in which being a Muslim, WHICH HE IS NOT, is a smear, lying about his being one, or confusing differences of opinion about foreign policy with the lack of a fundamental commitment to the centrality of the American-Israel relationship, is just wrong and it will serve none of us well in the long run.
Now bring on the Republicans!

  • john

    you must a little sick in your not to understand the clear speach of obama,and very blind to see the truth,the world can`t move the way it should with people like bush and the team(republicans)or are you just a racist?can`t you see the mess bush has done around the world?

  • new beginning

    That he is part African is one strike against him, that his father is a Muslim, another. That he was raised in Hawaii (too paradisical?) and went to Harvard (too elite?) just add to the ire of xenophobes. But, with his visit to the Wailing Wall, do those idiots or others nearby think he is secretly Jewish too?
    I hope America doesn’t succumb to the idiots, bigots, xenophobes and similar ilk.

  • Giora

    The first step is identifying the issues, without it we go nowhere. Most of us admit Obama did that flawlessly.
    If he gets elected he will come to the crossroad where the realities of a limited budget will kick in. I believe if he will apply to that the same brain he applied to running his campaign and fund raising the US will do fine.

  • Melle

    Talking about it as class warfare is sloppy journalism.
    Investments that make it easier for small business owners and
    middle class workers to prosper will create budget surpluses, just like when Bill Clinton was president. Obama was clear that it is not government’s responsibility, it is our individual and collective responsibility.

  • paagle

    either last night was pandering, which I do not believe, or it was a gentle pitch for the kind of class-warfare based redistributionist policy in which he genuinely believes
    Class warfare? How many tax $ leave the country because the extremely rich and large corporations have the flexibility and money to hire clever accountants to hide money or make it in less-taxed ways? Hard to say for sure, but a journalist who likes to accuse others of “class warfare” ought to be able to come up with a well researched estimate (yes, call me lazy, but this sort of thing isn’t my job – its yours, and you’ll do it if you’re intellectually honest about the “class warfare” tag). How does this sort of thing shift the tax burden? Straight onto the lower classes, of course. Close down the loopholes that allow the rich to hide their money from the IRS (yes, that is a tax increase of sorts), focus IRS resources primarily on prosecuting the greatest violaters of tax law (as was the case before Bush), and the budget situation would look a whole lot rosier. Maybe enough to pay for some of Obama’s ideas. Get out of Iraq in a few yrs and maybe we can pay for all of them.

  • Dr. Apple

    Raising taxes on bigger businesses will contribute to those businesses either going overseas or downsizing. This is just one of the flaws in O’Bama’s way of thinking. O’Bama’s goal is to have a socialistic society, in which wealth is unfairly redistributed. This is not how America was built. It is not the duty of responsible, hard-working and prosperous people to support those who are not willing to work, and/or who have less.

  • Jeremiah Price

    Rabbi Brad –
    I commend you for one of the finest articles I have read on the subject. Thank You!

  • Awais

    “being a Muslim.. is a smear”
    Is it?

  • Renae Longbotham

    Hmmmmm Ive been following Mr. Obama’s comments one I found very interesting to say the least he said quote unquote that he would lower taxes by 95% then just last night I heard that he was going to lower it 75%,,,,,,WOW!! amazing that no other presidential elective has ever thought about that well what I would like to know is where does he think that the money is coming from???? HMMMMM prabably the ones who are struggling to make ends meet he sounds so glamorous like he reall knows what he is talking about it’s one thing to have charisma and it’s totally another that when the cameras go off hmmmm what other thing should I say to the american people now lets see 95% lower taxes or 75% lower taxes for the people there buying everything else I’m saying so I’m really gonna wow them and see if they take the bait!!!
    Come on people wake up stop walking around in the valley of darkness and pray for a Saul experience !!!!
    Have we forgotten as well that he put his HAND on the KARAN when he was sworn in as a senator now if people still beleive that he is not a muslim then they are truly blind (it was televised)if he is a christian he wouldve never swore allegance to the Karan I don’t care what he says. zThe blind lead the blind then they all fall into the pit.
    If people really want to know what to do find christ jesus seek a personal relationship with him he will place the leaders where they need to be placed for his purposes!
    Repent for the kingdom of the Lordis at hand!!
    2Joel 12-17

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!   ...

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated ...

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often ...

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center ...

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 ...

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.