Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Punch'em Back

This story gives me additional confidence in Barack Obama’s ability to withstand the withering attacks that are already starting to come, and demonstrate he has no intention of running a campaign remotely close to those run by recent Democratic standard bearers. From MSNBC.

Barack Obama said Tuesday that evangelical leader James Dobson was "making stuff up" when he accused the presumed Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible.

Dobson used his Focus on the Family radio program to highlight excerpts of a speech Obama gave in June 2006 to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal.

…Obama said the speech made the argument that people of faith, like himself, "try to translate some of our concerns in a universal language so that we can have an open and vigorous debate rather than having religion divide us."

Obama added, "I think you'll see that he was just making stuff up, maybe for his own purposes."

Now that’s what I’m talking about. For years this type of religious bullying has been an integral part of national politics, and the typical Democratic response has been to offer some sort of mealy mouth response, or cower in fear. I’m glad that Obama is calling this out for what it is. Politics. And Obama is not the only one calling Dobson and his ilk on their nonsense.

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist pastor from Texas and longtime supporter of President Bush who has endorsed Obama, said Tuesday he belongs to a group of religious leaders who, working independently of Obama's campaign, launched a Web site to counter Dobson.

Caldwell said he has great respect for Dobson's advocacy for families, but said the criticism of Obama was "a bit over the top" and "crossed the line."

"There has been a call for a higher level of politics and politicking," Caldwell said. "So to attack at this level is inappropriate and I think unacceptable and we at least want to hold everybody accountable."

Over the top indeed, as it always is. That, by the way, is the same Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell who performed the nuptials for Jenna Bush a few weeks ago.

At any rate, I don’t expect this to be the end of attempts to portray Obama as the ultimate boogeyman; a Muslim- Radical Christian-Communist-Liberal and Black to boot.

I’m glad to see that the Obama campaign continues to not allow him to be painted as something he’s not. In so doing, the fear mongering so prevalent in recent campaigns just comes across looking like what it is; silly and ignorant.


Raffi Shahinian said...

Great post. I'm also glad to see Obama holding his own, but I had a slightly different take on the specific issue, for anyone who might be interested.

Grace and Peace,
Raffi Shahinian

Unknown said...

love this post DP

DP said...

Raffi - Thanks for coming by and I hope to see you here again soon. I'll be over to check out your take on the issue.

Big Tex said...

I'm glad to see Obama standing up to Dobson and the rest of the brownshirts. I hope that other Democratic politicians are watching and taking notes.

Murf said...

When Barack Obama first announced his "Rapid Response" team idea, I thought, "That may be a big mistake." Turns out, it was one of the smartest things he could've done. By controlling how he is defined and by whom, he avoids the trap that John Kerry fell prey too. Smart move.

DP said...

Big Tex - they should be taking notes. Dobson and his ilk are just a bunch of bullies who've been pushing the electorate around for far to long. I'm thrilled that Pastor Caldwell has decided to call him out on his BS.

Murf - Thanks for coming by and for your comment. I thought initially that the Democratic candidates needed to stay above the fray, but there's a fine line. You cannot be defined by your opponents in this day and age or you're doomed. Obama's campaign definitely understands that dynamic and have responded well so far.