Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama readings for your perusal

Left: Deadheads for Obama logo.

Equal Pay, not abortion (Politico):

Move over, Jane Roe. Lilly Ledbetter has taken her place as the name on the tongue of Democrats courting female voters.

On June 23, Barack Obama kicked off a “discussion for working women” with a speech directed at working mothers that criticized John McCain for his support of conservative judges, decisions and legislation.

But he didn’t once mention or even allude to abortion or Roe v. Wade. Instead, he keyed in on Ledbetter, the woman whose suit against Goodyear for pay discrimination was thrown out by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision last year delivered by Justice Samuel Alito. The decision upheld a lower court’s ruling that she only had 180 days after she was hired to discover the pay disparity and file suit.

The court’s decision in the case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., had already been cited 221 times in decisions by lower federal courts as of late April, according to the Alliance for Justice. Earlier this year, the Fair Pay Restoration Act — which would have effectively undone Ledbetter by giving women more leeway to file discrimination suits and was co-sponsored by both Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — failed to pass the Senate.

“Sen. McCain thinks the Supreme Court got it right. He opposed the Fair Pay Restoration Act,” Obama said. “Lilly Ledbetter’s problem was not that she was somehow unqualified or unprepared for higher-paying positions. She most certainly was, and by all reports she was an excellent employee. Her problem was that her employer paid her less than men who were doing the exact same work.”

McCain, who skipped the vote on the Fair Pay act, told reporters that "I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems."

By shifting his focus toward pay issues and away from abortion, Obama places himself in a far less polarized environment, and steers clear of the “ick factor” that many Americans, regardless of their political views, associate with the practice of abortion.
Obama says Iraq war must end (also from Politico):

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is vowing to quickly end the war in Iraq and shift the focus of the war on terror to Afghanistan and Pakistan, declaring in an address to be delivered later today that the “single-minded and open-ended focus" on Iraq "distracts us from every threat that we face and so many opportunities we could seize.”

“This war diminishes our security, our standing in the world, our military, our economy, and the resources that we need to confront the challenges of the 21st century,” Obama says in excerpts released by his campaign. “By any measure, our single-minded and open-ended focus on Iraq is not a sound strategy for keeping America safe.”

Obama is delivering a major address on Iraq at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, ahead of a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan later this month.

In the remarks, Obama vows to take “the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan”: “In fact – as should have been apparent to President Bush and Senator McCain – the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was.
The constant talk of Senator Barack Obama's "arrogance" (is there such a thing as a non-arrogant national politician or presidential candidate? Examples, please?) is wearing on my last good nerve.

From Firedoglake, Attaturk's "He's bordering on arrogance"--lays it out very simply:
Those are the words of AP's new Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about Barack Obama in March 2008. Ron, the word you were too timid to use but were thinking was "uppity".
And finally, Barack Obama's much-covered and picked-over speech to the NAACP yesterday, on YouTube:


Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

Yeah, I read those comments about arrogance and cockiness and think, well, yeah, duh, sure he's arrogant and cocky; he's running for President. But I don't see him as particularly differently arrogant from other presidential candidates and major public figures.

Zan said...

Is there some reason I can't have equal pay AND reproductive rights? When did this become an either/or game???

Octogalore said...

I agree with Zan. The linked article says:

"By shifting his focus toward pay issues and away from abortion, Obama places himself in a far less polarized environment, and steers clear of the “ick factor” that many Americans, regardless of their political views, associate with the practice of abortion."

It's all politics and no conviction. Whatever. He's picking this issue to attempt to differentiate from McCain. Raising social security 13% on female entrepreneurs without their own health insurance -- really pro woman. I'm not convinced.

CrackerLilo said...

I agree with you and Lynn; I think it requires a certain level of arrogance and cockiness to try out for that job! It's really stupid.

Thank you for giving me a reason to keep the faith, anyway. I found his reaction to the New Yorker cover extremely revealing, never mind his increasing conservativism. It's like he's throwing off all the reasons he had support in the first place.

On a completely unrelated note, you'll probably like this blog entry. Total Southern culture on the skids. Frankly, there's not much good going on in the news.

erin said...

It's very similar to what he's doing with the GBLT community. Backing away from the controversial subjects and trying not to give McCain an opening.

I guess I shouldn't be supprised, modern politics doesn't reward progressives who actually dare give voice to their beliefs. I'm still saddened by my pessimism being justified however.