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Black Enough & Proof Enough?

Monday, Feb. 12, 2007 3:31 PM

A note to the right-wing pundits asking if Barack Obama can really speak for African-Americans, or if he's 'black enough'.

What, exactly, does that mean?

Does it mean that an educated man, elected to the Senate, can't possibly represent the nation?

Does it mean that you view African-Americans as gangsters and and rappers, so they're too stupid or poor to grok a guy in a suit? Or that you'd like them to be that way so it's easier to dismiss their presence, questions, and concerns?

Does it mean that ALL African-Americans MUST be the descendants of slaves in order to have standing or legitimacy or address issues of economics, education, and health care?

That conservative loons then launch into 'he's got a funny name' merely underscores their lack of depth. They would have you believe that theirs is the party of values, that theirs is the party of religious piety � and all they can say is that Barack Obama has a funny name and isn't really black.

That's disgusting.

The rule-of-thumb amongst magicians is that you should never perform the same trick in front of the same audience.

So, why, when a report points out yet again the deeply flawed and unsubstantiated intelligence used to justify going to war against Iraq, the American public is being treated to the exact same song and dance about Iran?

They've got WMDs. They're consorting with terrorists. They're a danger to the stability of the region.

And the Bush Administration is playing the same word games. Defense Secretary Bob Gates talks of 'pretty good' evidence ��markings on explosives and bomb fragments that somehow point straight to Tehran.

But at no point are specifics forthcoming, because we don't want to compromise sources and methods. Hypocrisy in the extreme from the people who outed Valerie Plame in order to promote the intelligence that has been discounted time and again.

The Bush Administration was wrong about Iraq. It continues to be wrong in its projections. Its reconstruction efforts have been plagued by fraud and corruption. The site of the World Trade Center is still a hole in the ground. New Orleans is not yet rebuilt.

But the White House has a budget and the desire to start another war.

Yes, we're not just going to dig a tunnel to China, we're going to row a boat to the moon! (We'll make astounding progress once we figure out how to get the boat into the air, and as the Moon pulls more, we'll suck less.)

Update: Apparently, now there is photographic evidence being offered. I'd just like to point out that we had that, too, during the ramp-up to war in Iraq, in the form of satellite images of Saddam's mobile labs, which turned out to be broken-down trailers that hadn't been used in months.

A photo of a plate of chow mein does not mean the Chinese are involved, even if there are Chinese characters on the take-out box. Similarly, unless there are conclusive, proven (not probable) ties to Iran � as established by manufacturer's marks and a chain of ownership, then the photos do not prove the Bush Administration's case. (Yes, it is possible for individuals within Iran to provide arms from within Iran to insurgents in Iraq. That still does not prove the direct involvement of the Iranian government.)

The next question is, what do we intend to do about it? Let's see, we're not talking to Iran, we don't intend to talk to Iran, so that would leave � hmm, oh, that's right ��military action against Iran.

And as it becomes more evident that the Bush Administration really has this thing for military adventurism, it's up to the Democratic Majority to do something other than accept watered-down, non-binding resolutions.

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