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Gov. Rendell on the Nation of Islam:

Andrew Sullivan links to this appalling speech by leading Clinton supporter and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, from 1997 when he was mayor of Philadelphia. Rendell is, to say the least, fulsome in his praise of the racist and anti-Semitic cult and its leaders. And he sure seems oblivious to the irony of a white, Jewish mayor going using the Nation of Islam as his forum for denouncing racism.

TerrencePhilip:
It was like something the Onion would have produced using sound mashups- thanking them for "what you stand for?" The man has a rich future in comedy. Otherwise it is simply baffling.

Sullivan has a point: will Clinton reject and denounce these remarks and Farrakhan?
4.22.2008 12:12am
EH (mail):
I've decided that these stories are evidence that people just plain do not want to talk about the issues that are facing the nation and its citizens. Identity politics have become boring. I'd much more love to see the candidates on all sides put on the spot to second-guess current policy. I suppose it'd be impolite on Capitol Hill as well as the campaign trail, but it'd sure be refreshing.
4.22.2008 12:28am
ronnie dobbs (mail):
Rendell was obviously pandering. Obama was going to church. There's a difference.

Now, as I suspect, Obama's going to church may have been nothing more than political posturing, but that's no better than admitting that he attended a crazy, racist church for 20 years.
4.22.2008 12:28am
ronnie dobbs (mail):
By the way, Andrew Sullivan sure is one hell of a conservative, isn't he? Is there even a single political position taken by Barack Obama that could be described as "conservative"?
4.22.2008 12:30am
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
I have the VC posts in a feed that lets me see only the titles before I click. I play a game with myself each day. I try to identify the Bernstein posts only by title. I have an amazing success rate.
4.22.2008 12:32am
OrinKerr:
I've decided that these stories are evidence that people just plain do not want to talk about the issues that are facing the nation and its citizens.

Indeed.
4.22.2008 12:34am
TerrencePhilip:
I've decided that these stories are evidence that people just plain do not want to talk about the issues that are facing the nation and its citizens. Identity politics have become boring. I'd much more love to see the candidates on all sides put on the spot to second-guess current policy. I suppose it'd be impolite on Capitol Hill as well as the campaign trail, but it'd sure be refreshing.

EH,

do you think that racism, hatred, bigotry, and thuggish stupidity are not "issues that are facing the nation and its citizens?" That politicians who pander to dangerous cults pushing such ideas are NOT something that people care about?

Interesting. I wonder, given the utter dearth of interest in these matters, how you bothered to read this thread much less post in it.
4.22.2008 12:36am
deliotb (mail):
I've decided that these stories are evidence that people just plain do not want to talk about the issues that are facing the nation and its citizens.
I second Terrence.

But I also think it's a big waste of time to discuss politicians' campaign promises, especially when I'm sure 95+% of VC readers already know who they are going to vote for, and things like Farrakhan, Bush's drunk driving escapade, Swift Boats, Dukakis in a tank, "read my lips no new taxes", blather about 'change', and so forth are, along with economic conditions, what actually ultimately decides American elections, because the 5-20% of voters who are swayable in any given election tend to be the most ignorant and least public policy oriented voters. But if you'd like to post a lengthy comment discussing the differences between Obama and Clinton's health care plans, please feel free.
4.22.2008 12:42am
TerrencePhilip:
You can ridicule symbolic issues all you like- there are a lot of ex-officeholders who wish they'd paid more attention to them.

I have seen the candidates' health care proposals; I would rather be waterboarded than spend three hours reading blog posts about them.
4.22.2008 12:56am
hawkins:

politicians who pander to dangerous cults pushing such ideas


Come on now, dont be so disrespectful to Jerry Falwell
4.22.2008 1:20am
FC:
To paraphrase a great Chicagoan: Ed Rendell doesn't care about white people.
4.22.2008 1:54am
Joey22 (mail):
The greatest threats to free speech often don't come from the government, but from political correctness.
4.22.2008 2:06am
wuzzagrunt (mail):
politicians who pander to dangerous cults pushing such ideas

Is Ron Paul still in the race?
4.22.2008 2:48am
Lonetown (mail):
As Tom Maguire asks in his blog Justoneminute.typepad.com, a little context please.

Maquire provides some context and it makes this thread look foolish.
4.22.2008 7:38am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Unlike Sullivan, I did provide the date. I don't see how the context helps, especially since McGuire fails to point out that Rendell also rudely assailed "so-called Jewish leaders" who criticized his judgment on this.

One positive result of the 2000 campaign was that it made Bob Jones University politically radioactive, forcing the school to change its dating policy. Perhpas this campaign will do the same to NOI (which has the opportunity to change when Farrakhan dies).
4.22.2008 8:09am
Tom Maguire (mail):
Well, Maguire failed to sit through the six minute video twice, so I missed the "rudely assailed" bit.

However, I did note the Times story wihcih included this:

In a long church rally today, called to promote racial reconciliation after several recent high-profile crimes, Mayor Edward G. Rendell joined Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, in challenging residents of Philadelphia and the nation to put aside ethnic differences.

...

The church rally, which lasted four hours, was a compromise negotiated by officials of the Nation of Islam, who wanted to help protest the incidents, and by Mr. Rendell, who wanted to preserve the city's peace, two weeks before a Presidential summit meeting here on volunteerism.


My guess is that Rendell thought he was preventing a demonstration that could have led to riots, as in Crown Heights 1991.

Maybe he was wrong - I am no authority on Philly politics of the 90's.

Maybe there is some civic version of a Neville Chamberlain award we could give to Rendell. Except that, as best I know, there were no eventual riots in Philly.
4.22.2008 8:29am
Anderson (mail):
I'm glad to see that the VC is now turning to attacking the Democratic candidates more equally.

Just the kind of balanced political commentary that its loyal readers have come to expect.
4.22.2008 10:00am
Hoosier:
Conservative points to liberal pandering in the interest of votes; Liberal responds that we need to stop this penny-ante stuff and focus on "the issues.

(Semi-)conservative responds: Is that why Rendell was addressing NOI? Because it was the best audience for a detailed policy speech on the "issues"?

This is like the Obamaniacs' response to the most recent debate. "We want to hear the cadidates address the ISSUES!"

No you don't. Almost no one wants that. If they did, newspapers would be a viable enterprise.
4.22.2008 11:17am
NattyB:
Whatever happened to the "Marketplace of Ideas?"

Are we going to question Ed Rendell's patriotism ad nauseum? This is Rendell saying it, not his church.

Oh the hypocrisy. I guess it's easier to smear the black guy by association to Farrakhan, then it is another, good old "White Ethnic." Which "ethnic" Rendell is, is beyond me. That's just how he's referred to in the press all the time. He looks just white to me. Which, provides good cover, from - you must also believe the crazy shit that Farrakhan says too, right?
4.22.2008 1:18pm
Thoughtful (mail):
"This is like the Obamaniacs' response to the most recent debate. "We want to hear the cadidates address the ISSUES!"

Not in the realm of possibility. A more reasonable request: "We want to hear the candidates lie about the ISSUES!"
4.22.2008 1:19pm
NattyB:
Ronnie Dobbs,

You'd be so much more persuasive if you didn't contracdict yourself.

Rendell was obviously pandering. Obama was going to church. There's a difference.

Now, as I suspect, Obama's going to church may have been nothing more than political posturing, but that's no better than admitting that he attended a crazy, racist church for 20 years.


Hmmm, isn't political posturing pretty much the same as pandering. Your words, not mine.

Crazy, racist church for 20 years? How the fuck would you know if it's a "crazy racist church?" Did you attend it for 20 years? Oh let's see, let's take the wackiest things that one of their pastors said, and play it on a loop, and then we'll draw our conclusions. I'm glad we're all concerned with objective truth here and not just projecting our own pre-conceived conclusions.

I know Mike Huckabee doesn't Rev. Wright's a racist:


I know Hillary's former pastor Dean Snyder doesn't think it's a racist church:

But hey, he said GD America. So, we must all run, hide, and cower from the militant black guys who praise Farrakhan. (Why are we afraid of Farrakhan again? He said mean things about Jews? I'm Jewish, and the people I've known to say the meanest things about Jews, have been, NEWSFLASH - other Jews. But I digress)

Ok, let's get through the cognitive dissonance. And, I must preface this with, I personally do not give two shits on who said what regarding Farakhaan, Tuskegee experiments, chicken's coming home to roost et al. Those things mean jack to me. BUT, I know that's what people like to talk about.

Rendell praised the shit out of Farrakhan. Obama has never praised him. Now, if we employ logic, then, one should conclude, that Rendell has a more favorable opinion of Farakhann then does Obama. And how do I know this: Because it's what they said. That's it. Anything else is substituting analysis with projection.
4.22.2008 1:37pm
NattyB:
Ok, I couldn't get the links to work, but you know what I mean.

Youtube: Huck and Wright


Google: Dean Snyder and Wright

and you'll get the documents that I meant to link.
4.22.2008 1:42pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

But if you'd like to post a lengthy comment discussing the differences between Obama and Clinton's health care plans, please feel free.


Ask and you shall receive.
4.22.2008 2:08pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Natty,

Farrakhan hasn't just "said mean things about Jews." He is probably the leading purveyor (via The Nation of Islam) of anti-Semitic propaganda (e.g, the Nation of Islam book, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews) in the U.S. He likely plays a significant role in the fact that blacks are far more likely to be anti-Semitic than are whites.

And if you're Jewish friends believe in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories like Farrakhan, you are hanging out with an awfully strange crowd.
4.22.2008 2:46pm
LM (mail):
... and Andrew Sullivan thinks this is relevant presumably because Rendell supports Hillary? As I think Jon Stewart said (maybe it was Stephen Colbert), Barack Obama's supported by Ted Kennedy, who's a Catholic, and the Pope was in the Hitler Youth. Ergo, Obama's a Nazi.
4.22.2008 7:45pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Ed Rendell (who is Jewish himself) has no shame, and Jews who helped elect him governor are just plain stupid. If Falwell or similar evangelist has ever said the equivalent of Farrakhan, I like to see it. I know Falwell has said some pretty extreme things and I reject him utterly, but has he ever referred to anyone's "dirty little religion."


Nobody for President in 2008. Why does a dying Republic need a president?
4.23.2008 6:16am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
A. Zarkov - it's only dying because we let it. Man up and do something about it.
4.23.2008 8:35pm