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Conservative Activists Launch Ad Questioning Obama Judicial Appointments

By Robert Barnes
Rev. Jeremiah Wright for the Supreme Court?

A group of conservative legal activists doesn't suggest exactly that, but it is releasing an ad featuring Wright and the other two members of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's controversial trio of associates as part of an effort to bring attention to the issue of Supreme Court nominees and raise questions about Obama's judgment.

The new ad is paid for by the Judicial Confirmation Network, a group closely associated with the successful confirmations of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The ad says that the next president could reshape the court because of anticipated departures over the next four years. But instead of talking about the views of either Obama or his Republican rival John McCain, the ad focuses on Obama's ties to his controversial former pastor Wright, disgraced real estate developer and campaign contributor Tony Rezko and 1960s radical William Ayers.

The connection?

"We don't know who Barack Obama would choose, but we know this," the ad says. "He chose as one of his first financial backers a slumlord now convicted on 16 counts of corruption. Obama chose as an associate a man who helped to bomb the Pentagon and said he 'didn't do enough.' And Obama chose as his pastor a man who has blamed America for the 9/11 attacks."

Wendy Long, the general counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network, said the message showed that Obama associated with those men while voting against confirmation of Roberts and Alito.

"I tried to tie it to the court," Long said. "I hope that worked. It's certainly about the court."

She said it is intended to be just the first phase of a campaign to show the "huge, huge choice" for voters on the issue, because McCain and Obama would make such different appointments to the Supreme Court and in lower court judicial openings.

She said the ad would run nationally on Fox, tied to the court's resumption of oral arguments on Monday, and in the battleground states of Ohio and Michigan.

Posted at 1:23 PM ET on Oct 2, 2008  | Category:  Barack Obama
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Fine, wes1155, if you won't post what you think is objectionable, I will start posting what I have found that is not:

In a letter to William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Hagee wrote: "Out of a desire to advance a greater unity among Catholics and evangelicals in promoting the common good, I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful."

Donohue, one of Hagee's sharpest critics, said he accepted the apology and planned to meet with Hagee Thursday in New York.

"I got what I wanted," Donohue said in an interview. "He's seen the light, as they like to say. So for me it's over."

More from Hagee's letter:

"In my zeal to oppose anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its ugly forms, I have often emphasized the darkest chapters in the history of Catholics and Protestant relations with the Jews," Hagee wrote. "In the process, I may have contributed to the mistaken impression that the anti-Jewish violence of the Crusades and the Inquisition defines the Catholic Church. It most certainly does not."

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 7:11 PM

MarkInAustin,

You aren't looking hard enough not that it is difficult, google on "hagee roman catholics" and "hagee jews".

Posted by: wes1155 | October 2, 2008 5:35 PM

wes1155, the one quote I found from Hagee about Catholics was not objectionable. That's why I asked for something specific.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 4:59 PM

Roberts and Alito? Those are their favorite Judges. Most Americans think those two lied during their confirmations and have backed Bushes unconstitutional power grab from the day they hit the bench. Yelling about how good they think those two are will only solidify support for Obama. Roberts and Alito? The longest lasting and hardest to remove stain from the Bush Presidency.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 2, 2008 4:56 PM

MarkInAustin,

Google it, watch the YouTube videos, go join their web sites. Do some research. Maybe you will be surprised at what you learn.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 2, 2008 4:31 PM

wes1155, do you have a specific quote I can look up in context? I will be happy to tell you whether I agree or disagree with that.

dijetlo, the context was any CURRENT cases. What good is it to rail against Plessy v. Ferguson when that has already been overturned? As for specific Obama policies, not trying to overturn Roe v. Wade tops my list (do you need the quote from that Saddleback Forum?).

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 4:18 PM

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 2, 2008 3:59 PM

Well, my being Chatholic, you can start with Hagee's remarks on Catholicism. My wife being Jewish, you can then proceed to his comments about the holocaust. Then you can go on to Hagee's and Dodson's stands the right to privacy, gay rights, womens rights, Armageddon, etc. How about human rights in general ant their hypocrisy of Jesus' and corruption of the Bible in general to fit their political agenda.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 2, 2008 3:32 PM

**Dred Scott is hardly a current supreme court case.**
Mark, Palin wasn't asked about "current" Supreme court cases, she was asked about "any" Supreme court cases.
Since you don't think the rest of the post was on point, why don't you indulge me and point to a policy differnce you have with Obama. What's he going to DO that you don't like (not what do you think he's going to do, what did he SAY he was going to do).

Posted by: dijetlo | October 2, 2008 3:16 PM

Not very Christian, are they?

Posted by: zukermand | October 2, 2008 3:07 PM

Back on topic, however, Reverend Wright HAS joked (or was it a joke) about being Obama's Vice President, if not a supreme court justice.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 3:00 PM

Dred Scott is hardly a current supreme court case.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 2:58 PM

**Obama been asked to name more than one current supreme court case he disagrees with?**

Obama is a constitutional law proffesor.
I don't think that would be a problem. Dredd Scott might be top of the list.
The problem the Republicans face is illustrated by this piece, they want to argue that Obama will appoint liberal judges, but they have no proof of that. So instead they argue he knows Bill Ayers.
Some of them probably realize that doesn't make their point but as a group they are too emotionaly invested in the process of winning elections to think rationaly.
They are the conservatives, which is another way of saying they are easily startled and tend to operate based on fear. They scared the country for a long time but like a strap across the back, we eventually grow used to it and it looses it's effect.
Check out why the conservatives don't want you to vote for Obama. He's a radical because he KNOWs Bill Ayers. He's corrupt because he KNOWs Rezko. We all know thousands of people, which is why this kind of argument has been relegated to the fringes of polite discussion.
If you press them for a policy reason, they are flummoxed. Are they going to argue against cheaper health insurance? Are they going to oppose changing our economy from fossil fuels to green sources for our energy? Are they going to argue Walmart employees are paid a living wage? The middle class is prospering? That we are loved and respected across the globe?
No, because all of those things are demonstrably false. So instead, they want to talk about people he knows. That's just not working anymore.

Posted by: dijetlo | October 2, 2008 2:53 PM

wes1155, which comments from those white pastors do you want me to pass judgment on?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 2:29 PM

MarkInAustin,

No, I don't find Wright's remarks disturbing. What I do find disturbing are the comments Hagee and Dodson make, but since they are white, well that's ok. When you show the same level of indignation about their comments come back and let's have a discussion. McCain courting people such as those two is much more disturbing to me. They have much bigger audiences and their vitriolic hate speech in the name of Jesus is heard much more widely.

As for Wright's remarks about Louis Farrakhan, I believe you are totally missing his point, maybe because you just have no understanding what it is like to be judged by how you look rather than who you are. Although it is much worse, you don't have to be black or Hispanic, etc., to get a feel for this kind of prejudice, ask someone with visible birth defects or overweight. It isn't as bad has being judged based on the color of your skin, but it is still terrible.

Posted by: wes1155 | October 2, 2008 2:23 PM

Jake, why do you bother posting under another name? Do you think it's going to give your opinions any more credence?

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | October 2, 2008 2:20 PM

No, Gator-ron, I still believe Palin can be a great Vice President even if she supports killing wolves from the air AND only knows one supreme court case she discagrees with by name.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 2:10 PM

McCain learned his lesson from Keating 5. As for Wright's comments at the National Press Club, you really don't think there's anything particularly revealing about this:

"MODERATOR: What is your relationship with Louis Farrakhan? Do you agree with and respect his views, including his most racially divisive views?

WRIGHT: As I said on the Bill Moyers' show, one of our news channels keeps playing a news clip from 20 years ago when Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion.

And he was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter is being vilified for, and Bishop Tutu is being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I'm anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago.

I believe that people of all faiths have to work together in this country if we're going to build a future for our children, whether those people are -- just as Michelle and Barack don't agree on everything, Raymond (ph) and I don't agree on everything, Louis and I don't agree on everything, most of you all don't agree -- you get two people in the same room, you've got three opinions.

So what I think about him, as I've said on Bill Moyers and it got edited out, how many other African-Americans or European-Americans do you know that can get one million people together on the mall? He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century. That's what I think about him.

I've said, as I said on Bill Moyers, when Louis Farrakhan speaks, it's like E.F. Hutton speaks, all black America listens. Whether they agree with him or not, they listen.

Now, I am not going to put down Louis Farrakhan anymore than Mandela would put down Fidel Castro. Do you remember that Ted Koppel show, where Ted wanted Mandela to put down Castro because Castro was our enemy? And he said, "You don't tell me who my enemies are. You don't tell me who my friends are."

Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains. He did not put me in slavery. And he didn't make me this color.

MODERATOR: What is your motivation for characterizing Senator Obama's response to you as, quote, "what a politician had to say"? What do you mean by that?

WRIGHT: What I mean is what several of my white friends and several of my white, Jewish friends have written me and said to me. They've said, "You're a Christian. You understand forgiveness. We both know that, if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected."

Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever's doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they're pastors. They have a different person to whom they're accountable."

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 2:08 PM

pc13, has Obama been asked to name more than one current supreme court case he disagrees with? And since when is that knowledge, or knowing all the names of supreme court justices, a qualification for the Oval Office? This isn't Jeopardy.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 1:56 PM |

You seem very defensive about her ignorance. What about your own?

"Do we really want a vice president who champions such savagery?"
Yes.
Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 1, 2008 1:49 PM |


Just so you don't forget, this was your opinion yesterday.

Care to change it?

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 2, 2008 2:07 PM

And this 2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll says it all. You Won't Believe These Results!

http://www.votenic.com

Vote your opinion on the $700 billion Bailout!

Posted by: votenic | October 2, 2008 2:05 PM

These ads strike me as McCarthyism and guilt by association. I mean come on! First of all I would bet 99.9% of people commenting on Wright have even bothered to watch more than the sound bite excerpt from Wright's sermon or any of his sermons. As for his address at the National Press Club, I didn't find it particularly shocking at all.

Rezko? Well since the current head of the Justice Department was appointed by a republican president and is a republican, don't you think if there was really anything there they would have done something about it already? And forget the innuendos that, oh, well Rezko is now singing, you just wait. When you have something tangible let's talk, otherwise you are simply spreading unsubstantiated rumors.

As for the "real estate deal", whoa, now there is a huge issue! Rezko I suspect gave Obama a good deal to curry favor, but there is no indication Obama ever did anything for Rezko in return beyond what he would do for any constituent.

So what about the fund raising Rezko did? Rezko did the same for a wide swath of politicians in Illinois most of whom are not implicated in any way in any wrong doing, so why do people single out Obama without any facts to back it up? Oh yeah, he's running for president and they don't like him so that makes it fair game.

As for Ayers? That's about the weakest argument of all. Let's see, they live in the same neighborhood and they both were on the Board of Directors of the Woods Fund for a couple of years. Yup, that's real strong evidence and a resounding indictment. And it sure is proof Obama has adopted Ayers' radical 60's principles many of which even Ayers has backed away from.

Why aren't all of these people so incensed about McCain's past? What about Charles Keating? What about McCain's connections to lobbyists for Indian gambling, a committee he chairs directly deals with these matters. What about his connections to Los Vegas casino owners? Why did he wait until Rick Davis his campaign manager, was no longer the director of a Fannie/Freddie funded lobbying group which closed up shop in 2005 to co-sponsor Hagel's all but dead bill on Fannie/Freddie oversight in 2006? Why was Davis' firm still being paid by Fannie and Freddie until a month ago?

Posted by: wes1155 | October 2, 2008 1:58 PM

pc13, has Obama been asked to name more than one current supreme court case he disagrees with? And since when is that knowledge, or knowing all the names of supreme court justices, a qualification for the Oval Office? This isn't Jeopardy.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 1:56 PM

Another false and desperate attempt by the far right. The same smears could be done about McCain and his sidekick, Palin. I would be surprised if either of them could even name all of the SCOTUS; McCain being too senile and Palin being too ignorant.

Posted by: pc13 | October 2, 2008 1:52 PM

Democrats in Congress at the time lost Vietnam.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 1:46 PM

Proverbs says "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful". Like it or not, harsh critics of right wing imperialism are not without some validity. You ditto-heads need to quit whining about the fact that some people don't like being run over in the name of patriotism. There are at least two sides to every argument, and dissent is a form of patriotism.
Your "hero", John McCain, destroyed five very expensive US aircraft, only one in battle, and was inept enough to get captured, whereupon he gave vital information to the enemy. He suffered, but he helped us lose the war. He hurt America far more than Ayers did.
We don't need any more right wing judicial insurrections installing unelected dictators like G.W. Bush.

Posted by: rooster54 | October 2, 2008 1:40 PM

That's right, nahnopenotquite.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 1:39 PM

People do NOT give a crap about Rezko, Ayers, and Wright.

What people care about is JOBS and the ECONOMY.

Posted by: maritza1 | October 2, 2008 1:38 PM

By all means, let Sarah Palin choose. She clearly has the knowledge and background to parse through her adviser's recommendations and choose the next, possibly 4, justices.

http://nahnopenotquite.com/2008/10/02/palin-on-the-supreme-court/

Posted by: nahnopenotquite | October 2, 2008 1:38 PM

I am looking for more of Bush's type of supreme court justices though.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 2, 2008 1:38 PM

Ayers, Rezko, and Wright....yawn. Old news.

None of these three has any connection to or impact on the way in which Obama would choose supreme court justices.

And dredging this up shows what McCain's supporters have left. Not much.

McCain would bring more of the same to the WH. More Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, more of Bush's Iraqi war and more of his type of supreme court justices.

Voters are looking for change, change McCain won't provide.

Posted by: mathas | October 2, 2008 1:35 PM

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