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Obama on Clarence Thomas

Revealing again Senator Obama’s arrogance was when, at the presidential forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked each candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. A lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal examines his revealing response.

Barack Obama likes to portray himself as a centrist politician who wants to unite the country, but occasionally his postpartisan mask slips. That was the case at Saturday night’s Saddleback Church forum, when Mr. Obama chose to demean Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, “with all due respect” the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.

[Barack Obama]

Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that “that’s a good one,” and then adding that “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.” The Democrat added that he also wouldn’t have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.

So let’s see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General’s office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s second most prominent court. Since his “elevation” to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America’s Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn’t yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a “community organizer” and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas’s judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama’s Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas’s rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama’s story look like easy street.

Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat’s answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn’t expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn’t merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court’s black conservative isn’t up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.

So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama’s advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won’t let slip what he really believes.

EDIT: Friday August 19th

Mervi’s comment reminded me of Clarence Thomas’s courageous response during an infamous senate hearing. It’s interesting to consider whether or not Justice Thomas will make any public response to Senator Obama’s insulting remarks.


Obama and McCain Presidential Forum–A First

I listened from the initial word to his final ones as Pastor Warren of the famous Saddleback Church in California hosted a forum in which presidential candidates Senator Obama and Senator McCain each addressed the capacity crowd. It was the first meeting of its kind; an impressive event.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. and Pastor Rick Warren, greet parishioners during a non-debate forum moderated by Warren at the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. (AP Photo)

Previously on this site we have discussed the issue of whether or not such political events should be held in church venues, and both pro and con opinions have been voiced. I wish to disregard that facet of the question today, but I am curious to hear your take on this meeting. Did you listen or watch? What is your opinion?

In my judgment it was an excellent affair, timely, and with pertinent, probing questions asked and–for the most part–answered. It was an interesting approach. Senator Obama had drawn to be first, and for an hour, with Senator McCain not present or hearing his answers, Pastor Warren had asked him questions. After an hour, Senator McCain was presented to the crowd, and was asked the same questions.

It was an intriguing, enlightening presentation. I’d like to hear from you, and along the way, I will probably add other comments.

More pictures here.

America Christianity/Religion Patriotism Political insight Religion

How Much Should Churches Engage in Politics?

It is important to me that I consider how far Christians and churches should be involved in politics. I question myself concerning the matter frequently, and of others occasionally, and (in a fashion) I blogged about it here. So of course I am interested in this article in which it is reported that Pastor Rick Warren has engaged Senators John McCain and Barack Obama to speak at his church.

One of our conversations when my oldest son, Steve, and I were together last week, was of this subject, and it sprang from a remark Steve made as we discussed the tragic condition of our world.

“We’ve stood by and let evil take over, Mom,” he said, and then gave me some examples.

“Part of the reason for that, Steve, is that for years, it seems the church was advised to not be directly involved in politics.” It wasn’t a long conversation, and we soon moved to something else.

Do you have an opinion about this? Is this something churches should be doing? Should Christians be involved in politics? Isn’t it a logical place for Christians to function? Shouldn’t we care about the direction of our country? of our world? Or should we merely listen and read and form opinions so that we can be responsible voters? Should we continue to focus on spreading the gospel to a lost world and leave the activist political work to others?

Rick Warren leads ‘Global Summit on AIDS and the Church’ at his Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., in November (WND photo)

Rick Warren’s Southern California megachurch announced today it will host the first joint campaign appearance of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.


Warren will moderate the event with the presumed Republican and Democratic presidential nominees Aug.16 at Saddleback Church’s Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion.

“This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart – without interruption – in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan ‘gotcha’ questions that typically produce heat instead of light,” Warren said in a statement.

Warren, founding pastor of the 22,000-member church, said the primaries “proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues.”