While reading the farcical fact-checking Washington Post article by Glen Kessler, I noticed that he was going through various speeches by the President to set up the Pinocchio count for how Rudy Giuliani was wrong about Obama’s love for the country.
Sidestepping the obviously weak defense made by Kessler, he was good enough to provide links to transcripts of speeches where he showcased the quotes that supported his “fact checking”. Please note: I am not suggesting that Kessler is incompetent. Rather, he seems to focus on protecting the President with what little he can find, and conflating quotes to mean something that is obviously incorrect. This will be the subject of another post.
I decided to read each of the speeches, looking for context. One of the things I hate most with journalists, in general, is the idea that they distill down items to selective quotes and forget to include other things that might provide a better balance.
What caught my eye was this paragraph in a speech to the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008. This was then Senator Barry Obama. Here is the quote:
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s efforts to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.
The speech was about race in America delivered by the same Senator Obama who told us that Bush was unpatriotic for adding so much to the National Debt. The same candidate who didn’t believe in same-sex marriage, and also felt that Israel was an important ally. This quote happens to be in the middle of his condemnation of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial statements.
I guess you can say his transformation has been more than just fundamental.