Distractions

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Distraction -- Obama's word for questions about the allegations of wrongdoing by himself and/or his close associates.  When Obama talks about "distractions" he's dancin'.
Distractions -- They Began Early
March 28th, 2008 -- It's All a Distraction! (Posted:  Brian Faughnan on March 28, 2008 02:25 PM)

Obama on Jeremiah Wright:

Part of what I hope to do in this campaign and as president is to get us beyond these divisions that distract us from our common challenges and our common opportunities and move the country forward.

On going to war in Iraq:

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income -- to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

Obama on attacks by Hillary:

We knew that the closer we got to the change we seek, the more we'd see of the politics we're trying to end -- the attacks and distortions that try to distract us from the issues that matter to people's lives, the stunts and the tactics that ask us to fear instead of hope.

On gay marriage:

The heightened focus on marriage is a distraction from other, attainable measures to prevent discrimination and gays and lesbians.

Obama on race, gay marriage, abortion, and illegal immigration:

We get distracted from solving problems such as health care, employment or the environment because of these divisions.  It happens in every election, and it's not just race.  It's immigration, gay people or abortion.  There's always one of these issues that crops up and prevents us from focusing on vital issues that this country's long-term well-being depends on us solving.

It's not all that original to note that much of Obama's rhetoric is pretty vague -- often vapid.  But I've begun to notice how many things Obama regards as distractions.  When he labels a given issue a 'distraction,' he's saying that someone is whipping up a an issue from whole cloth simply for political gain.

So who does he think is being insincere: gays who want to marry, or people of faith who think marriage is for a man and a woman?  How about in the competition between border enforcement advocates and those who want amnesty for illegal aliens?  Or between those who favor abortion on demand, and those who believe life begins at conception?

All of these are important public policy questions, with divisions among Americans that prevent easy solutions.  Obama shouldn't denigrate broad swaths of the population just because it would be difficult to address their concerns.

Distracting Questions

Obama will not debate Hillary any longer.  And the reasons are pretty clear after last Wednesday’s debacle in Pennsylvania.  Obama simply doesn’t fare well when forced to defend himself extemporaneously.  He gets almost incoherent, and not just on the supposed "distraction" questions, but also on policy.  His answers on capital-gains tax increases had Hillary smiling and the rest of the nation wondering if he had bothered to study the issue at all.

After last Wednesday, it looks like a retreat.  Obama got a bloody nose, and suddenly he doesn’t want to appear on national TV, even up against a cupcake like Katie Couric.  The strategy may be sound, but only if one has no confidence in Obama’s ability to stand up to tough questioning.  In fact, his withdrawal from the debate appears to be an admission of exactly that.

It’s like a championship boxer refusing to spar so that his pretty face doesn’t get messed up.  Then he expects to step in to the ring and go toe to toe with the real deal and win.

Obama’s campaign strategy now mirrors his cut and run tactics on the war in Iraq.

Dismiss All Questions As Distractions
Obama understands that the real threat to his candidacy is less Hillary Clinton and John McCain than his own character and cultural attitudes.  He came out of nowhere with his autobiography already written, then saw it embellished daily by the hagiographic coverage and kid-gloves questioning of a supine press.  (Which is why those "Saturday Night Live" parodies were so devastatingly effective.)

Then came the three amigos: Tony Rezko, the indicted fixer; Jeremiah Wright, the racist reverend; William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist.  And then Obama's own anthropological observation that "bitter" working-class whites cling to guns and religion because they misapprehend their real class interests.

In the now-famous Pennsylvania debate, Obama had extreme difficulty answering questions about these associations and attitudes.  The difficulty is understandable.  Some of the contradictions are inexplicable.  How does one explain campaigning throughout 2007 on a platform of transcending racial divisions, while in that same year contributing $26,000 to a church whose pastor incites race hatred?

What is Obama to do?  Dismiss all such questions about his associations and attitudes as "distractions."  And then count on his acolytes in the media to wage jihad against those who have the temerity to raise these questions.  As if the character and beliefs of a man who would be president are less important than the "issues."  As if some political indecency was committed when Obama was prevented from going through his latest -- 21st and likely last -- primary debate without being asked about Wright or Ayers or the tribal habits of gun-toting, God-loving Pennsylvanians.
Issues Of Character Were A Distraction
Yesterday, a Time magazine a columnist declared that issues of "character" were a "distraction" in the Presidential race.  Obama actually said the same thing in his North Carolina press conference, that the Reverend Wright affair has been a "distraction."

It's what liberals usually say when their own character comes under public scrutiny?

What a heap of pure poppycock!

Character is the primary issue in every Presidential election.

John Adams' words on the matter:

The people "have a right, an indisputable, inalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge -- I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers."

We, the people, now have indisputable evidence that Barack Obama lacks the integrity of character to be President.
Three Components Of The Obama Distraction Defense
The Obama campaign is seeking to preemptively declare what they unilaterally have decided -- with the implicit assistance of the media -- are the permissible rules for engagement of their gaffe-prone candidate? 

There are three basic components to the Obama "Distraction" Defense:

1.  The ordinary meaning of words spoken by the candidate, his supporters, surrogates and wife (especially his wife) are always to be placed in a larger "context" or dismissed as incidents of "misspeaking."

2.  Obama’s lack of significant experience is not to be held against him, but rather, we are to assess his qualifications based on his superior judgment.

3. Troublesome voluntary associations with nefarious, noxious and infamous characters are to be dismissed as trivial and unimportant.
Add The Blago Scandal To All The Other Distractions
Inauguration Day is more than a month away and Obama can add the Blago scandal to all the other "distractions" he has to deal with.

Obama is surrounded by more scandals than Nixon, Clinton and a dozen other corrupt politicians  combined and he's not even in office yet, and these things aren't going to go way.

He will be so busy playing "cover-your-ass," he will be unable to govern.  His entire administration will be on damage control from day one, and eventually, this will all crumble around him.

Affirmative action is a wonderful thing.
Obama Bemoans Distractions
Google News reports that at the 2010 Hampton College commencement, Barack Obama lamented that in the iPad and Xbox era, information had become a diversion that was imposing new strains on democracy, in his latest critique of modern media.

Obama, who often chides journalists and cable news outlets for obsessing with political horse race coverage rather than serious issues, told a class of graduating university students that education was the key to progress.

"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank all that high on the truth meter," Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia.

"With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama said.

He bemoaned the fact that "some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction," in the clamor of certain blogs and talk radio outlets.

"All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."

Catch that! -- "some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction" -- the Birther issue is getting to him.  It's on his mind.
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