The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Western Tribune Column September 10...Community Organizers

Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin made sarcastic, demeaning remarks about community organizers last week at their party’s national convention, and the Republican crowd loved it, cheering for several minutes as they realized a new way to belittle Barack Obama, because of work he did soon after college.

The Republicans ‘comments inaccurately portray the work done by legions of volunteers and paid organizers who work to improve the lives of others in their communities.

People like Elvira Kidd. Elvira has been involved in community activities for decades, and is an advocate for education. Most recently she is leading the Bessemer Neighborhood Association whose latest project involves getting dangerous trucks off of Dartmouth Avenue.

Or Erica Young. Erica has led a successful effort to transform an abandoned school yard into a community garden by bringing individuals, civic groups, institutions and corporations together. Jonesboro Community Garden can be used as a site for education as well as a place for a relaxing stroll.

And a local woman who shall remain nameless who helps find housing for abused or other women (and men) who need shelter and a little time to get back on their feet.

There’s Isabelle Rubio, who works with the Hispanic community and who, because of the trust she has gained, was able to work as a liaison between cautious Hispanics and law enforcement officials in the investigation of a gruesome murder scene recently in which five men were tortured and murdered.

And David Nicholls who is trying his best to save Arlington School in Bessemer, and is assembling a team of people to complete a project started a decade ago; the designation of Bessemer’s south side as a historic district.

These are the people who, in most cases without government assistance, make our communities a better place to live. None of these people hold the title of community organizer, yet that is the role they are playing.

To listen to the Republicans, the services these people provide are worthless. But as citizens of this and surrounding communities know, they are priceless. And while no one says their experiences alone would qualify them to be president, the organizational skills and compassion required are qualities that we need to see in our leaders.

What we don’t need is a president and vice president who offer little help and even less support to those who are less fortunate than themselves.

8 comments:

John from Hoover said...

It is amazing how liberals 'spin' things to try to get their point across. Giuliani and Palin were not being demeaning about community organizers, they were saying, and rightfully so, that if that is your only qualification to be president, then you are grossly unqualified. Thus, Obama is grossly unqualified. I doubt anyone would vote for Kidd, Young or Rubio either.

And you are correct. We don't need a president who will offer little help to those who are less fortunate. We need a president who is going to steal from the rich and give to the poor.
RIGHT!!!!!

Joe Openshaw said...

John,
go back and listen to Giuliani's speech, and from his tone of voice and sneer, you can not deny that he was being demeaning.

And if you, or Palin think that Obama's community organizing, which he did for three years, is his only qualification for president, you are living in a void.

Elvira, Erica and Isabelle are not running for office. At least not yet.

Ronnie said...

Forget it John. The Dems are grasping for whatever they can to try to turn this train around. And fortunately it is not going to work. McCain hit a grand slam with his VP choice, and we know that our country is secure for at LEAST 12 more years.

Did anyone think about the fact yesterday that since 9/11, no terrorist attack has happened on our home soil, thanks to W? Americans aren't stupid, and we aren't going to fall for this "CHANGE" crap when you can't back it up. Obama is a nice looking man who gives a good speech....he is not qualified to be the President.

oh brother said...

"Obama is a nice looking man who gives a good speech....he is not qualified to be the President."

Actually both Obama and Palin are as qualified as they need to be according to the Constitution. Anyone can run for office and many of our county's past leaders have not come from civil service backgrounds.

Just because one holds office for a few years does not mean they have what it takes to run the country. This nation has a multitude of diplomats, business people, retired generals, etc. that could run for president and have the knowledge of both foreign and domestic affairs to effectively manage the nation. They simply lack the support of one of the two major parties to run or have no desire to hold office.

Anonymous said...

LOL....yeah, well let's see. Is Obama a diplomat? NO! Is he a businessman? NO! Has he ever been in the military? NO! Has he ever run a city, or a state? NO! I'm with his VP running mate who said we don't need him learning on the job.

I love how frenzied the democrats are right now. You people don't know which way to turn because the wheels are coming off so fast.

oh brother said...

I think you missed my point anon. I was trying to state that most people born in the U.S. meet the qualifications for president. People keep saying that this person or that person is unqualified for president or vice-president. The Constitution has very few listed qualifications for the president or vice-president.

It is up to us as voters to determine if a particular candidate will best represent the interests of the United States. It is also up to us to determine if a candidate has, what we feel to be, the necessary experience to confront today's modern challenges.

So it is not a question of qualification, it is a question of which candidate, among a pool of qualified candidates, passes the people's interview process (the campaign).

Because of constitutional qualifications for president I realize I can not write in Luke Skywalker as I had been planning. For me it's now a toss up between Chuck Norris and Rip Taylor for my preferred write-in candidates. With Chuck you get round-house kicks, with Rip you get confetti. Either way....awesomeness.

Also, I wouldn't say the Democrats are frenzied even if Rush and Sean say so. McCain may be having a good few weeks and is ahead in the polls but his lead is by a small margin. Obama is still leading when the Electoral College vote is tallied up (also by a small margin) and his performance could rebound at any time (or he could still keep going down in the polls). I think its going to be a close vote which ever way it goes.

It's because of football and politics that I can't stand to be around most people this time of year. Those two things turn normally rational people into some insufferable folks.

ronnie said...

Okay oh brother. If what you say is true, and I tend to agree with you, that America should decide, then why won't Obama agree to an OPEN FORUM type of debate? He won't yet McCain has said out right that he WANTS to "pass the microphone around" and let people ask whatever they will. Obama refuses. He would not even agree to be on stage at the same time as McCain when Rick Warren did the Saddleback interviews. He knows that when you get him away from the tele-prompter and he is dead in the water. With all that is going on in the world, we need a president with a military background leading our country. It is that simple.

oh brother said...

Ronnie, I think you, in a way, answered the question for me with the tele-prompter comment. However I will give you the unnecessarily lengthy oh brother answer.

Both candidates have certain strengths and weaknesses in the area of public speaking. They can both do well in hitting their talking points and in engaging a crowd, they just do it differently. Obama gives a great speech and has the rare ability to make each audience member feel personally engaged and inspired without him actually engaging anyone.

However he does not do as well, I feel, in a one-on-one debate setting or in an interview where he is asked un-expected questions. I have seen him give several interviews and recently watched his past debate with Alan Keyes (he still did better than Keyes). After initially answering a question successfully he tends to stumble over his speech, increase the use of his hands during speech and sometimes appears agitated after receiving repeated follow-up questions.

On the flip side, McCain does not do as well in a speech setting. He kind of reminds my of Ben Stein in Ferris Buller. He comes across as just reciting facts and figures with no real energy and is just not very engaging. He does much better in a one-on-one setting and that is the reason he tends to do town-hall meeting type of speaking engagements.

Because of McCain's preferred speaking style he wanted to put himself in a setting that he would be more comfortable in for the debates. If he just went into the three regular debates he would have only one out of the three debates work with his speaking style (the last one one which is going to be town hall style). By proposing the the open-forum style he was hoping to have 10 additional debates that would work in his favor.

Obama on the other hand would have had more to loose than to gain in these types of debates. At the time he had a much larger lead on McCain and he could have spent the time campaigning further rather than preparing and participating in debates that could hurt him. I don't blame him for this. Image is a major part of the campaign process. McCain was hoping to better his image and Obama needed to maintain his.

Obama initially said that he would participate in these proposed debates but later countered with a format that would work with his speaking style (more of a longer speech style rather than a Q&A style setting). In the end neither campaign could compromise and the debates were dead.

Your last comment about having a president with military experience speaks to what I was trying to say in my previous post. To you as an individual it seems that the war on terror and Iraq are chief concerns (please correct me if I am wrong). Therefore it is of importance to you to have a president that can better tackle these issues. It is now your right as a citizen to vote for the candidate that you feel can best handle these issues. To make what you feel is the "best hire" so to speak.