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Obama Speech Makes Presidential Campaign About Race -- and Guilt

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: In Florida, they said they're not going to redo the vote. Michigan says today they're probably not going to redo theirs. Then you got this Obama speech today, and this speech was typical Obama, in many ways. The reaction to it was, wow, how well he spoke. So Hillary is sitting in her hotel room or wherever she was watching this thing, and she's saying, "Oh, I'm melting! I'm melting!" The house is just about to fall on her here. I'm sure that's what she thinks. But here's the question. After watching this speech today -- and I've got many comments about it obviously, as many people do and will -- the Democrats have to ask themselves a question today. Do they really want the presidential campaign to be about race, because Barack Obama has made it now about race. He has essentially, in not disavowing and distancing himself from Jeremiah Wright, who, by the way, I think the correct way to understand Jeremiah Wright, and the way people are reacting to him is not in a racial manner. This is a man who hates the country.

Jeremiah Wright is a hatemonger. He hates America. It is patently obvious. Barack Obama sought to excuse that today in ways that I found a little bit troubling, blamed it on his generation. Well, he grew up in the fifties and sixties, and that's what America was then. Well, there were a lot of blacks who grew up in the fifties and sixties who have not become Jeremiah Wright. Just because you grew up in the fifties and sixties does not entitle you to hate the country and not try to move forward and build a ministry around it. It's essentially a political movement disguised as a ministry based on the hatred of America. When I watch tapes of Reverend Wright's speeches, I don't see the congregation upset about it. I see them applauding and doing all kind of things. Obama made it plain today, folks, that the future of America rests on one thing, and that's racial division being healed, and which would be great if it would happen. Those of us my age, my generation have been hoping and praying to get rid of race as a dividing issue and as an identity issue in politics and in our culture for as long as I've been an adult, thinking and caring about these things. But there's an entire race industry on the left that will not allow that to happen. You know the kind of people I'm talking about. It's become very profitable for them.

There's a lot of wealth to be generated in the race business. So the idea that America began as imperfect and now only Obama can make it perfect -- well, not only him, but his candidacy is about that. He said at the beginning of his speech, he said we need to perfect the union because it was left imperfect at the time of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and he said that we all want to move in the same direction. Well, we don't want to move in the same direction. You have to listen to this and read between the lines. Of course we want to move in the same direction of prosperity and health. The debate that liberals and conservatives have had over what kind of country we want to be has never changed, it's just how do we get there. Obama laid it out pretty well today how he wants to get there. He is an ultra-liberal. He sees soup line America in every group of people. At the same time he's talking about ending the racial divide, he still shows us how Democrats see people: The white woman who can't bust the glass ceiling, the black this, the Hispanic immigrant there. He sees everybody as members of groups, while decrying victimology, basically promoted it in his speech today.

In my estimation, at least the way I heard it, the real interesting part of the speech to me was how this relates to his character and judgment, particularly in dealing with Reverend Wright. I don't think he answered that question for a lot of people. Despite the speech being flowery and fabulous and well delivered and so forth, if you've watched any TV commentators since the speech ended, you've heard that they are all gushing about it, so it is what it is as far as that's concerned. The superdelegates in the Democrat Party are going to have to ask themselves, do they want this presidential campaign to be about race? Is that what they want the Democrat Party presidential campaign to be about? But what was interesting here was that we did get a little bit more insight into his views, which are pretty filled up with class envy and class warfare and a great misunderstanding of basic economics, which I've always noted about Obama's remarks. But this business we all want to move in the same direction. Yeah, we all want freedom, we all want liberty, although I don't hear Democrats talk about it too much.

We all want opportunity for our kids. We all want a growing, expanding economy. The argument we have is how do you get there? The argument is very simply put, or the distinguishing aspects of the argument are: Liberals want to use government based on a contempt and lack of understanding and confidence that average Americans can overcome things in life. Conservatives like us believe that if you just trust people, the inherent goodness and decency of people will come to the forefront if you don't tamper with their freedom, if you don't tamper with their liberty, if you understand what our Founding Fathers understood, that our freedom and liberty comes from our Maker, from our Creator. We are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. My view of the Democrat Party today is that those are under assault. We know that life is under assault. We know that liberty is under assault. Don't make me give you all the examples. This is something that's not even arguable. We're talking about banning certain kind of lightbulbs; talking about how you can use your property, all these examples -- liberty is under assault at the leadership level of the Democrat Party. Pursuit of happiness, they're not happy; they don't want anybody to be happy. They are miserable. They look out across America and they see misery and they enjoy it. These are people who are happily miserable. So all three of the basic tenets of our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, are under assault by the American left today.

Now, how can they say we all want to move in the same direction when that is where they -- I don't care if it's Hillary, I don't care if it's Barack Obama, I don't care if it's John Edwards, I don't care who it is, Algore, they are all the same. Life is under attack; liberty is under attack, 'cause they don't trust people with liberty. They don't trust voters to do the right thing. They don't trust you to drive the right car. They don't trust you to have the right kind of anything. And of course the pursuit of happiness, there's an all-out assault on happiness. Nobody has a right to be happy in America today when there's so much misery elsewhere. We, on the other hand, believe that liberty is part of our creation, freedom, natural yearning to be free is part of our creation, is what has distinguished this country in 220 years, from all other populations of human beings in the history of this planet. Our DNA is no different than anybody else's on the planet, but how is it that we have come to be this awesome and for-good superpower? How has it happened? It has happened because of our founding documents; it has happened because of an inherent understanding that our freedom and ambition, who we are as human beings, is part of our creation.

Ben Stein has a new movie out. He brought it by my house Friday afternoon to screen it for me. It's called Expelled. It is powerful. It is fabulous. And here's the premise of his movie. The premise is that Darwinism has taken root, taken hold at every major intellectual institution around the world in Western Society, from Great Britain to the United States, you name it. Darwinism, of course, does not permit for the existence of a supreme being, a higher power, or a God. His interviews with some of the professors who espouse Darwinism are literally shocking. The condescension and the arrogance these people have, they will readily admit that Darwinism and evolution do not explain how life began. One of these professors said it might have been that a hyper-intelligence from another planet came here and started our race. This from some professor either in the UK, I forget where it was, but can't be God. These people are so threatened by the existence of God, they will not permit intelligent design to be discussed. Professors have been fired, blackballed, and prevented from working who have deigned to try to combine the whole concept of evolution with intelligent design.

Ben Stein's new movie is going to open to a thousand screens pretty soon, it's not out there yet. It's called Expelled. But the point of it is that these people on the left are just scared to death of God. It threatens everything. We, on the other hand, recognize that our greatness, who we are, our potential, our ambition, our desire, comes from God, and as part of our Creation, this natural yearning to be free and to practice liberty. That is how we think this country came to be great. It is how we think this country will continue to be great and to grow. That is not Barack Obama. He doesn't believe that. By evidence of this speech today, we are an imperfect country. And by definition, I guess we are. We're better than any damn thing else out there, by any measure. Our future and our prosperity and our opportunity, our life, liberty, pursuit of happiness is threatened by people who hold beliefs such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and liberal Democrats, because they don't believe in the power of the individual. They have contempt for the power of the individual. They believe in the power of the state. They believe in the power of the state with them in control.

We all want the same things. We all want to move in the same direction. Well, we all want the same things, Barack, but we don't want to move in the same direction. I don't want to go in the direction you want to go to get where you want to get. I don't want you to get where you want to go, in a political sense. So up until today, Barack Obama had transcended race. Mr. Snerdley's point from yesterday. Up until today, Barack Obama was who he was, not because of race. Geraldine Ferraro got fired, canned, whatever, for saying so. He was able to transcend race, he was able to ascend to front-runner status not on the basis of race, but on other things. Now he is and has become the candidate of race. It was so unnecessary, because what everybody was concerned about with this preacher was not race, but hate, and hate for America, and Mr. Obama's refusal, in 20 years, to find it repugnant enough to distance himself from it. Meanwhile, we've had to sit around while this guy gets excused today, while we're asked to understand, based on 50 years, hundred years, 221 years, original sin. We are told that Trent Lott can't make a joke about Strom Thurmond and stay as the Senate majority leader -- he's gone. Need I give you all these examples of attacks that have been made on conservatives over the slightest little things that don't even get into the same ballpark where the Reverend Jeremiah Wright lives.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: One thing that Barack Obama has to recognize, ladies and gentlemen -- and the rest of us do, too -- is I'm sick and tired of guilt. I'm sick and tired of forced guilt brought on by the race business on the left. What we have to understand here and what we constantly quote, unquote, "preach" on this program; are the great strides we are making; the great progress we have made in all of this. Reverend Wright sees none of it because he doesn't want to see any of it, because to him it isn't about race. It is about hate! Reverend Wright may believe in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but where on the left do we see anybody talking about "life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness," as distinctive human things that we are fortunate enough to have endowed in our founding documents? What Senator Obama must realize, is he is not the agent of racial healing. He is the product of it.

We have for the first time in American history, a black man who is the likely nominee of his party, to run for president of the United States. Somehow, this is going to be turned and convoluted and contorted into some sort of misrepresentation of what it really is. Senator Obama is not the agent of racial healing. He is the product of it. Too many people are going to look at him as the agent of it. I saw enough evidence on cable networks this morning following the speech to now know exactly what is meant by "white guilt." Shelby Steele has a great piece, by the way, in the Wall Street Journal about this. As you know, he's written a book called White Guilt, and I thought it was like one of the greatest books I've ever read and I interviewed him in the Limbaugh Letter about it, and he makes a great point in his piece today in the Wall Street Journal: "The Obama Bargain." Shelby Steele is a black man, ladies and gentlemen, and he's about Reverend Wright's age. Well, he may be. I think Shelby Steele -- 60. I'm guessing Reverend Wright, late sixties, but certainly close enough to say that they are not from two different generations.

Yet Reverend Wright is stuck forever in his hatred for America, and Shelby Steele is just the opposite. Obama would be better served to have role models such as Shelby Steele, than Reverend Wright. So, asks today Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal: "How to turn one's blackness to advantage? The answer is that one 'bargains.' Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. And whites love this bargain -- and feel affection for the bargainer -- because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence."

He says that is the essence of Barack Obama, which, by the way, is now gone in this campaign. Barack Obama stripped away the mask today and made it plain that his candidacy is about race -- and let's not forget where he gave the speech. He gave it in Philadelphia. This is still presidential politics going on here. Some of you might think that this was a forerunner of an inauguration speech. I've even heard somebody say it was the most important racial speech since Martin Luther King. That's a bunch of bunk. This was a political speech in the state where the next primary is being held, where Barack Obama is running ads on radio stations urging Republicans to cross over and register to vote for him to counter our Operation Chaos, where we have asked Republicans to do the same thing: cross over and vote for Hillary. "[I]n the end, Barack Obama's candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton's or Jesse Jackson's. ... [Those two] were not bargainers." They were confrontationalists, and when you confront, you lose. "Like these more irascible of his forebearers, Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance." Amen. Shelby Steele, writing today in the Wall Street Journal. Barack Obama, his campaign for the presidency, is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on any substance. That nails it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to go back to Shelby Steele just to show you the brilliance of this man. He says, "How to turn one's blackness to advantage? The answer is that one 'bargains.' Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. ... And yet, in the end, Barack Obama's candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton's or Jesse Jackson's," meaning on issues, meaning on liberalism, meaning on their view of government and what they would do with power.

Qualitatively, there's hardly a difference between Jackson or Sharpton or Obama. For example, like both of them, "Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance. Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson were 'challengers,' not bargainers. They intimidated whites and demanded, in the name of historical justice, that they be brought forward. Mr. Obama flatters whites, grants them racial innocence, and hopes to ascend on the back of their gratitude. Two sides of the same coin." Barack makes whites feel good; Jackson and Sharpton did not, but his association with Reverend Wright now threatens this. The association with Reverend Wright has de-masked Obama, and now the speech today has taken him away from this transcendent on race position to a candidate of race. Now, to show you that Shelby Steele knows what he is talking about, Judith Klinghoffer at PoliticalMavens.com went back and found a little passage from Barack Obama's book, autobiography. On pages 94-95, he describes an effective tactic to deal with white people: "It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied; they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time."

Two things about this passage. A, Shelby Steele, this is exactly what he's talking about, Obama is spelling out his own definition of bargaining. He also tells us exactly why he knows that people are not happy with Reverend Wright, because he's angry all the time. It has to be asked, Obama as the agent of unity and change, everybody around him seems so mad that they could spit. I mean, from his wife to his preacher, to any number of people. So, no sudden moves. That's how you get along, how you talk to white people, no sudden moves -- it's a tactic. It's a tactic! He describes it as a tactic, not a character trait, a tactic. If Obama's a cunning tactician in a race war of his imagination then the audacious tactic he has chosen to move the battle lines is "hope." He has rejected rage as a tactic, and we think this is authentic. People are saying, "I've never heard a more authentic Barack Obama than today." Tactics, tactics. He's a liberal, folks, and they do tactics. I can imagine you're probably listening to commentators talk about this, and you're not hearing anything from me that even approximates what you heard from commentators earlier today who had watched the speech. I understand. I'm a week ahead of everybody on this stuff, and I'm not trying to be funny. I don't watch this stuff with emotion. I don't swoon. I don't put the hopes of the planet or the country in one man. I'm not sitting around waiting for a messiah in the form of a human being to become the next president. I'm not doing that. I never have. So I don't look at this with emotion. I don't swoon. I study it. What I see here is exactly what I'm sharing with you. He is not the agent of racial healing. He is the product of racial healing. Now, let's grab a couple sound bites just to get started here. Here's the lead off. This is basically in the beginning of the speech.

OBAMA: Farmers and scholars, statesmen and patriots who have traveled across the ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their Declaration of Independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787. The document they produced was eventually signed, but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery.

RUSH: So that set the tone for what was to come, and much of this, folks, was to establish a baseline whereby the hate-filled rantings of Reverend Wright could be understood. Not agreed to, not accepted, but understood. We must understand the rage. All my life I've been told we must understand the rage of this various liberal group that's upset about something on a particular day. "You have to understand their rage, Rush. You have to understand their rage." Why do I have to understand their rage when it's not justified? We're not living 200 years ago. We're not living 150 years ago, although there are people who want us to. He finally got to Reverend Wright, and he admits that he sat in the pews and heard the Reverend Wright's spewings.

OBAMA: I've already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy, and in some cases, pain. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy?

RUSH: Stop the tape. "Fierce critic," my sizable rear end. Yeah, it's a little larger than it was a year ago, I gotta work on it. But this was not fierce criticism. This was hatred. There's a big difference between criticism and hatred, and Reverend J. Wright was immersed in hatred. When I heard that, fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy, I said cut me some slack here.

OBAMA: Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in the church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely, just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagree.

RUSH: No, no, no, no, no. No, Senator Obama. Here we go with the moral equivalence. Other pastors are not like this. Everybody's pastor is not like this. Everybody's pastor does not run around and make a career out of building an empire on a hatred of the country in which the empire is taking place. If there are preachers who anger their flock, guess what? Look at this clown, the Archbishop of Canterbury who is basically trying to say in the last couple weeks the resurrection couldn't have happened, the Star of David couldn't have -- people were outraged, and they said so. Some might have even left the flock. Guarantee you. Anybody in the audience, your preacher goes off on one of these wacko tangents, and you are not just going to sit there and chalk it up to fierce criticism of American domestic and foreign policy. You might engage the preacher, say, "What the hell are you doing? You can't be saying stuff like this," but to just use the moral equivalence argument. "All your preachers do this. Why are you singling out mine?" Now, here is the perfunctory denunciation of Reverend Wright. Listen to this.

OBAMA: 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.

RUSH: Okay, so he chronicles there -- this is the perfunctory denunciation. In the previous bite he says he was there when he heard Wright say all these things. I know up 'til yesterday or today he said he didn't hear them. People will get to that later after they stop swooning on the emotion of all this. That's going to get to the character and honesty of all this. Let this stuff fall out and play out as it does. Okay, so here's the perfunctory denunciation of Reverend J. Wright, and then it was followed by this.

OBAMA: Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence, and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love, and, yes, the bitterness and biases that make up the black experience in America. And this helps explain perhaps my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother, a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed her by on the street and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are part of me, and they are part of America, this country that I love.

RUSH: Now, I realize, to many people that penetrated, that got some people's hearts, right? You know what my big problem with this is? Once again, Barack Obama is saying, we have no choice in being who we are. Okay, so he has to trash his grandmother for being a racist, because that's part of who he is. No, it's not. Just because she's who she was does not mean he's who he is. This notion that we have very little choice in becoming who we are is a direct liberal technique to make as many people victims as possible. Don't you understand that when you have no choice about being who you are, Obama just told us he's the product of that racist, this racist, this hatred, that hatred, and he's trying to tell us he knows so much hatred and so much racial bias and so much segregation, that he's the guy to fix it, when he is not the agent of the healing, he's the product of healing that is already taking place without him. Rodney King could have given this speech, by the way. He did once, six words: "Can't we all get along?"

Now, I'm a fierce individualist, and some of you may be thinking, "Rush, can't you let some of this be perceived as good?" Yeah, I already conceded that the majority of people who watched this, it is going to be perceived as great, second only to Dr. King, but this business, can't disown Reverend Wright any more than he could disown the black community. Reverend Wright is not the black community. God help us. I happen to know Reverend Wright is not the black community, and Obama is not his grandmother. Don't you understand that all of us, especially those of us in our fifties, a little older, we start talking about our grandparents and great-grandparents, it's a ticket, it is a ruse to get us to admit that we are all racists because we can't do anything about whom we came from, genetically or otherwise. It's absurd, and it's dangerous and I'm urging you not to fall for this.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I'll tell you what I think is happening here, folks. Be on guard for this. I think Barack Obama is trying to put America on the defensive once again. He's trying to put America on defense. Original sin, it's back full-fledged. No progress has been made. None whatsoever! We have to start working on this! He's the guy to do it now. If anybody needs a lecture on race relations, it's not the people in this country. It is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If somebody needs a lecture on this country and on hate and its horrible effects on people, it's not the people of this country. It is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright who needs that lecture. Now, you gotta hear this. Barack Obama blamed Reaganism and me for racism in America today.

OBAMA: [A] similar anger exists within segments of the white community. ... Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism. (weak applause)

RUSH: And that was only the second time in the speech he got any applause. Reagan and Limbaugh. The Reagan administration resulted from racism, and who were the racists? Well, those Reagan Democrats! White Southerners who hated blacks and hated affirmative action, they voted for Reagan. By the way, Barack Obama did admit something. He very, very casually admitted it. Welfare policies have had a big role in destroying the black family, but I don't hear them wanting to change it. And then, of course, talk show hosts. "Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality..." This tells me that Senator Obama has never really listened to this program. The 20 years that he has been spending listening to Reverend Wright could have better been spent listening to this program. Because you know what this program has been about for 20 years? Not separatism, not segregation, not racism, not bigotry. This program is about greatness! This program is about greatness of the country. This program is about the greatness of the people who make this country work. This program is about effort. This program is about achievement. This program is about how everybody has obstacles placed in front of them has human beings living with other human beings, and has to overcome them. Some do it without whining; some do it without becoming victims. Those are the people who listen to this program. This program has sought to inspire and to motivate. This program has seen all the faults and problems of this country, and we've done our best to fix them within the confines of individual behavior leading to a better society.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's something for you people to think about. We're going to go to the phones real soon in the next hour, okay. People have been waiting, and I know they want to weigh in. Did Barack help himself today with the nomination, or did he hurt himself today with the Democrat Party? And remember, now, the Democrat Party's got a lot of white, racist, plantation-type guys in it. Just remember that.

END TRANSCRIPT

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