Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

White House apologizes to Shirley Sherrod

This is a good start: At the press briefing just now, Robert Gibbs apeared to extend a heartfelt apology to Shirley Sherrod on behalf of the Obama administration, and promised a look at what went wrong.

Interestingly, though, he sidestepped a question about whether fear of the conservative media drove the decision to fire Sherrod before the facts were all in.

Here's what Gibbs said, referring to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack:

The secretary is trying to reach her. I hope the secretary reaches her soon, and they have an opportunity to talk. The Secretary will apologize for the actions that have taken place over the past 24 to 36 hours. And on behalf of the administration, I offer our apologies.

Gibbs also seemed to promise some kind of reckoning as to how the White House botched this mess, though he stopped short of promising anything official:

I think everybody has to go back and look at what has happened over the past 24 to 36 hours, and ask ourselves how we got into this. How did we not ask the right questions? How did you all not ask the right questions? How did other people not ask the right questions?

When asked directly by a reporter whether the administration had "overreacted" because the White House is "afraid" of the conservative media, Gibbs brushed off the question.

It's good that the White House has now publicly acknowledged real wrongdoing. It would probably be even better, given the passion and anger that this story has unleashed, if something similar came from Obama himself. Hearing from him would go a long way towards reassuring people that the White House has learned something from this whole mess.

My bet is word will leak soon enough that Obama called Sherrod and personally apologized to her for what happened.

As for whether the White House learned anything from this disaster, the real tell will be how it handles itself the next time the right wing media gins up a fake controversy "proving" the Obama administration is riddled with rampant anti-white racism.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More questions arise about White House handling of Sherrod mess
Next: White House to media: You lap up Breitbart's nonsense, too!

Comments

Meanwhile;

There appears to be other other big news, that Plumline's obsession with this one story, is drowning out.

"ul 21, 2:55 PM EDT

GOP Sen. Lugar to support Kagan for Supreme Court

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
Associated Press Writer
Buy AP Photo Reprints
Interactives
Who is Elena Kagan?
U.S. Supreme Court 2010 term
Supreme Court:
Other News

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Sen. Richard Lugar says he'll vote to confirm Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court justice.

The Indiana Republican is the second in the GOP to announce he's breaking with his party to back President Barack Obama's nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens.

Lugar says he's carefully followed Kagan's confirmation hearing testimony and the debate about her nomination, including recommendations from his constituents, and concluded that she is clearly qualified to serve on the high court."

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Time for a meet & greet w/ POTUS, FLOTUS, and BOTUS.

Posted by: joeff | July 21, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

ahem, there is no such thing as "reverse racism", just racism. thank you.

Posted by: popopo | July 21, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

John Boehner provides the Unintentional Belly Laugh Of The Day:


http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/boehner-previews-role-as-mr-speaker/

"Mr. Boehner, whose ambition to become House Speaker rests on his party’s performance in the fall elections, said Congress needed to “break down the scar tissue” created from years of animosity between Republicans and Democrats. "


"The dominating issue of the midterm elections, he said, was demonstrating to the American people which party would create jobs. Asked for three ways that Republicans would aim to stir job growth, he said: repealing the health care law, blocking cap-and-trade energy legislation and pledging not to raise taxes."

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs is just stonewalling and throwing up smokescreens and the press corps lays down for him. Obviously he is lying about WH involvement. Does he expect us to believe that Sherrod just made up this story about the WH wanting her out because of Glen Beck's anticipated programing?

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 21, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

'the decisions [to fire sherrod] were wrong'

the specifics of sherrod's reaction and future status still need to play out and it seems that she, rightly, will have her say in that.

now the wh can take back the moral highground and call out the racists. along with everyone else who is tired of these tactics and larger strategy.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 21, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

fair point re reverse racism. changed to anti white racism.

and I apologize for my obsession with this story, Liam :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 21, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg, Gibbs didn't brush off the question. His answer was "no." When asked again three times by MajorG, he said "no" and noted that he told him no three times. How's that brushing the question off? Did you want him to present a dissertation on the subject?

Posted by: drs2008 | July 21, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder will Fox apologize during primetime or continue to be the kid who threw the rock and hid his hands???

Posted by: soapm | July 21, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

And while you are lecturing the president about this, you buffoons in the media might take a moment to look yourselves in the mirror and ask where your integrity, objectivity, and backbone went that you follow a wingnut "news" station around like love struck teenagers. Frankly, I hope Ms. Sherrod sues the pants off of Fatty Beinbat and Faux News - maybe it will be lesson to MSM that a narrative is not news and you can hurt people.

Posted by: LABC | July 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Fox ain't gonna apologize for crap. Breitbart was on Hannity last night so the two could stroke each other and claim she's still a racist.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 21, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

It's a good start that Gibbs has apologized to Ms. Sherrod. But here's a question: when does ACORN get its apology? ACORN was thrown under the bus by the Administration in response to an identical situation, and in that case, as with this one, the Administration acted without having all the facts in place. Simply shameful

Posted by: markpkessinger | July 21, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Re: the reference to "reverse racism" - I blame myself.

I used the term sardonically on one of the other threads, something to the effect of Potency x 10 of Reverse-Racism that the participants of the NAACP meeting where Sherrod spoke were guilty of engaging in by nodding their heads.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 21, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously he is lying about WH involvement. Does he expect us to believe that Sherrod just made up this story about the WH wanting her out because of Glen Beck's anticipated programing?"

WHY is it obvious?
Did it ever cross your mind that maybe Cook was stretching the truth a bit when she told Sherrod that the WH "want this". Hmmmmm, a boss lying to someone to get them to do what the boss wants them to do. That never, ever happens does it?

Posted by: vintagejulie | July 21, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This is what we get.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/21/AR2010072104191.html

6 versions of the word "apology" and ZERO mentions of Andrew Brietbart nor Fox News.

Hope we're all happy. This is our doing. If I were the White House I'd be pissed off at the Left.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

truthteller: "Gibbs is just stonewalling and throwing up smokescreens and the press corps lays down for him. Obviously he is lying about WH involvement."

That's not the only possibility. The undersec'y of USDA who was phoning Shirley repeatedly while she was driving back to the office could have made that up to ratchet up the pressure.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 21, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus' Apology To Sarah Palin.

A Good Read.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/20/AR2010072004427.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

the good thing about not being rightwing simpletons is that we can criticize the actions of people on our side while still fighting the scumbag racist tactics and strategy of the rightwing republicans.

we should not get into recriminations, and thereby postpone the attack on breitbart, fox and so many other rightwing voices.

the wh apology was necessary. that's all there is to it. now that they've made it, we can move on.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Well then Cook should be fired if she lied. The point is we know someone is lying here and the WH has reason to lie. Sherrod has no reason to lie about this. If Cook lied about the WH wanting her out then Obama would be outraged by her use of a lie about his Adiministration to pressure Sherrod out and he should fire Cook.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

That's great isn't it Ethan.

Greg, any idea why your paper failed to mention what's really going on here?

How about some in depth journalism on the in your face race baiting going on between online right wing media sources, Breitbart/Drudge, etc and right wing cable news Fox and right wing radio, Rush, etc.

Are news organizations so terrified of Murdoch and the right? Why is it they are so willing to let Murdochs empire go after them and de-legitimize them day in and day out and not a peep of pushback happens?

What are your news orgs waiting for?

Irrelevancy?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"If I were the White House I'd be pissed off at the Left."

Nothing new there Ethan. Maybe if the WH had come down on the side of truth we wouldn't be having this stupid discussion. Now the apology is out there and we can all get back to slamming the right wing operatives like Breitbart without the WH's help I might add. Excuse us for sticking up for someone wrongly accused. There's right and there's wrong and the middle is mushy.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010..I'm with you on this. As the left bloggers skewer this Administration for jumping the gun on a false story, they don't see how they are also playing into the hands of the tradmedia by turning the blame on them.

I am sick of reading all the bashing of this administration about the firing. If they had waited for proof, the media would have followed the tea party and FOX accusing the administration of protecting racists.

Either way, they would lose no matter what they did and left is allowing themselves to be manipulated to turn on one of their own. This blog site is included!

Posted by: Jalenth | July 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"If I were the White House I'd be pissed off at the Left."

They probably are. And THAT is the problem. They should look in the mirror for a change.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Keep on demanding perfection from The Democrats, and you will get your wish, when The Republicans will be returned to power.


It is starting to look like Rahm was more right than wrong about the Lunatic Left.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Funny, how the WH makes a mistake, some of us call them on it, and it's our fault they look like fools. Do you guys ever get tired of being right? I guess we're only a team of rivals if we all agree. The Administration, the USDA and the NAACP all took Breitbart's bait and it's the lefts fault. Weird.

The apology has been made and we've all said great, but let's get one more dig in at the left on the way out the door before we turn the lights out.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 21, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"I am sick of reading all the bashing of this administration about the firing. If they had waited for proof, the media would have followed the tea party and FOX accusing the administration of protecting racists."

You don't get it. What the WH did (and continues to do) is playing into the RW narrative. Worse, it is cowering before the RW bullies. And, worst of all, it has let the RW escape a comeuppance yet again. Blame others if you want but if the WH hadn't fired this woman and then (and still) played secretive games about why who and how it happened, there would be nothing to talk about other than the RW. But even with all that, Gibbs still could have mentioned Fox or Bretbart or the RW smear machine or ... anything. Nope. Nothing but evasion and defensiveness. Inept. Totally inept. And that is what p*sses me off so much.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Excuse us for sticking up for someone wrongly accused. "

But lmsinca, as I've been arguing, you don't stick up for someone who is wrongly accused by going after an ally -- regardless of how clumsy and unfortunate their actions. You attack the ACCUSER and you slam their core competence repeatedly.

We'll be lucky if we get that opportunity.

Now that an apology has been issued and the articles have been written -- or are being written as I type -- the media will be itching to weigh in on the next controversy, which is no doubt right around the corner. We frickin blew it. Not the White House. The Progressive Left.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 21, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile;

Across the Pond;

They still report Really Important News Events, even when they occur in the USA. Unlike the pathetic US media, that no longer covers the rest of the world.


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0721/breaking54.html

"Obama says financial reform bill marks an end to bailouts

Wed, Jul 21, 2010

US president Barack Obama has signed into law the most comprehensive financial regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression and vowed there will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street.

"Because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes," Mr Obama said at a signing ceremony for the legislation approved by Congress last week.

The bill targets the kind of Wall Street risk-taking that helped to trigger a global financial meltdown and also aims to strengthen consumer protections.

Mr Obama, who has been criticised for bank bailouts that began under former president George W. Bush, said the legislation's provisions make clear that no firm is protected because it is deemed "too big to fail".

"There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. Period," he said. "If a large financial institution should ever fail, this reform gives us the ability to wind it down without endangering the broader economy.""

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Liam, Rahm has the Dems just where they should be. No public option. Blanche Lincoln. Offshore drilling. Oh, that's right -- it's the Liberals' fault.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Right wing media? Get real, perhaps if you covered stories that should be covered(Rev Wright, Bill Ayers, Van Jones, NAACP, insteda of being in the bag for this administration, this would never happen do some investigating for a change. Oh that's right you don't have sufficient staff! Can't wait until November!

Posted by: 292x1 | July 21, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

All, I know you'll get angry at me for hitting this again, but Gibbs made a very important point about the media's willingness to believe Breitbart's nonsense:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/white_house_to_media_you_lappe.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 21, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

You will be very happy, once they are ousted, and The Republicans will establish your Liberal Utopia.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The chain of events was probably Rahm to Vilsack saying get rid of her. Vilsack then called Cook and had her axe Sherrod telling Cook that the WH wanted her gone. Cook then relayed to Sherrod what Vilsack told her.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 21, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I don't need to hear from the President and be assured that the WH has learned something from this mess. The White House has apologized, the NAACP has admitted their mistake, and actions are being taken to rectify the situation with Shirley Sherrod.

I need to hear assurances from the media that THEY have learned something from this mess. I need to hear that someone with real journalistic credibity is about to do a full-blown expose on Fox News and Andrew Breitbart.

Rachel Maddow did some great reporting on this last night, and I expect she will do more. But I'd like to see every other real journalist jump on the bandwagon and call out Fox News and Breitbart.

I would hope that the "good guys" in the media would come to the aid of Shirley Sherrod and not leave her out there as the sole voice of reason and truth-telling about the real agenda at Fox News.

Posted by: elscott | July 21, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

I am not angry with you. I am sorely disappointed in you. You are like a starving mutt, who can not stop gnawing at an old bone that has been picked clean, while there is a pile of fresh raw meat right under your nose.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

and we can say you are playing into the right's hands by attacking the left. i didn't see anyone really attack or skewer the wh. all people was an apology.

and, as i've said, it was necessary to move the convo forward.

so let's take it forward instead of criticizing people for advising the wh to do what it ended up doing.

and the rightwing manipulation of the news cycle is a big story. we're criticizing the media for reporting this crap.

now it a meta story about media malpractice.

i, for one, think that's a good thing.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"We frickin blew it. Not the White House. The Progressive Left."

Let's see. Based on a snippet of video from a RW hatchet-man the WH fires an innocent victim. Then the WH takes 24 hours to gather the facts (which had been gathered by everyone else 23 hours earlier), refuses to say who in the Admin did what, and expects the media and Americans to focus on the RW hatchet-man. It might work that way on some planet but not this one. Maybe it should but it is simply stupid not to recognize that it doesn't.

Ethan, these guys are politically clueless.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I'm going to try to make this point one more time. This is a much bigger story than just this one episode. It goes to the heart of how the White House and Democrats will handle the efforts of a determined minority to destroy them.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 21, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@greg:fair point re reverse racism. changed to anti white racism.

Greg, change it again. It could be discrimination based on prejudice but not racism.

You can't have anti-white racism in a society where whites are the dominant race any more than you can have reverse-racism. You can have anti-white discrimination but racism is all about the dominant racial group (by power, not necessarily by numbers like apartheid south africa) oppressing the non-dominant group.

"Unless you are going to argue that blacks are "naturally" inferior to whites (which is an outright racist position), you have to admit that there is some mechanism that is limiting black opportunity. That's the mechanism we call "racism" -- the interacting social, political, and economic rule systems that all discriminate, either overtly (racial profiling, for example) or covertly (i.e., white majority governments redrawing district voting lines so that black majority areas are politically split up and don't have the electoral power to vote in black candidates; or, white-run banks using zip codes as a criteria for excluding people who apply for loans, and just "happening" to exclude all the majority black neighborhoods in a city, a practice called "red-lining")." --http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/7/15/161228/454

Since african americans (or any other minority) don't have dominant status or control any of the institutional power centers in our society, they can't practice racism, because racism is about institutional societal oppression of people because of their race and that means that the race in control of the institutions is the only one that can engage in racism.

Posted by: srw3 | July 21, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I for one, would like to see Greg start behaving like a real journalist and stop writing the same damn minor story over and over.

Meanwhile John Boehner put his foot in his mouth again,


And The Banking Reform Bill, the biggest since the Great Depression, got signed into law, by This Great President, today,

and Greg wants to keep drowning out such major news.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

The Banking Reform Bill is The Big Big Historical Story.

You have lost all perspective.

So long.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 21, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I think Liam is being ironic. Now I'll move on.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's a sorry sorry case but the takeaway for those who support the Dem Party is that the loyalty will not be returned if the right wing attacks you. Or, if you have disagreements with the party hierarchy.

They will throw anyone under the bus if it's convenient to them. That comes much easier to them than confronting the lies and smears of the right wing.

Sad but true.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | July 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This has to be the only WH in history with a "cast of characters" staffing the place and appointing associates to the cabinets, and agencies of government. Remeber the "Katzenjammer Kids?" How about "Bringing in the Clowns?" Vlacik was sooooo unoonvincing when he insisted he had "acted on his own" to dispatch a high ranking manager of the Dept of Agriculture/

Posted by: SavvyRead | July 21, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should handle this Sherrod mess like they are attempting to get a handle on the " Gulf Oil Spill ". Do nothing for a week, and then act like you know what you are doing.
Is Glen Beck really the boogey man?

Posted by: reiningerbuddy | July 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama has allowed a climate to develop that is simply not conducive to harmonious race relations.

1) In less than a month after his appointment as Attorney General, Eric Holder pronounced on Martin Luther King Day that whites were 'cowards' when it came to race.

2) Similar to the Sherrod case, in the summer of 2009, Obama jumped the gun and blamed a white policeman for racial profiling against Professor Gates -- WHEN IT DID NOT EXIST. He (Obama) FAILED TO DO ANY DILIGENT HOMEWORK!

3) Obama seems to have a delight in mocking any of his adversaries -- many of whom are in fact white.

4) DOJ's failure to take prudent action on the voter intimidation case (Black Panther Party) in early 2010, further caused antenna to go up.

5) When word leaked out that instructions had been given within DOJ 'NOT TO PROSECUTE CASES OF VOTER INTIMIDATION IF THE DEFENDANT WAS BLACK', serious question started developing as to whether Obama was living up to the oath that he took to uphold the laws of the USA.

6) The NAACP's recent resolution (targeting the Tea Party) certainly was not encouraging from a race relations point of view, and candidly, Mrs. Obama's appearance (though her message was on obesity) was perceived by some as tantamount to approval.

7) Then comes the Sherrod case. Again, Obama jumps the gun to protect HIMSELF -- at the expense of Sherrod.

Let us not forget that Obama threw his own grandmother (who was white) under the bus during the 2008 campaign. At the time, many of us gave him a pass, but now, it appears that he did hold a grudge against her – for her race!

Folks, a lot of this is just lack of leadership experience showing up.

Face it! Obama IS NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!!

Posted by: wheeljc | July 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Dear Greg-

I read your blog several times each day because I think you are one of the smartest left-leaning bloggers out there. You, however, have really over-reacted with this story. There is so much going on today but this is all you have harped on. You were starting to appear shrill until the White House apologised. Sadly that is not enough for you, now you want the president himself to apologize. Isn't that what Robert Gibbs is paid for, to speak for the President? Whether the WH was involved or not in her firing, their reaction wasn't surprising considering everyone, including yourself, seems to hold President Obama personally accountable for anything having to do with race in America.
The WH has officially admitted they were rash and therefore wrong. Please move on if you are not going to take the conversation to a deeper level by at least discussing the motivation behind the race-baiting and the public's eagerness to not only absorb it, but blame it on Obama. From all your posts about Ms. Sherrod today, I barely learned anything that I did not already know.
I have to ask, why were you so obsessed with this? What was your motivation? Please make me understand because you usually do such a good job of critically looking at issues. Using daft terms such as reverse racism also definitely did not help you seem sane today.

Posted by: lnaukushu | July 21, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

ANYBODY remember this....I guess only some people are allowed to learn over time....

'89 Thesis A Different Side of McDonnell
Va. GOP Candidate Wrote on Women, Marriage and Gays By Amy Gardner Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, August 30, 2009

Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family.
"Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and Attorney General and the specific plans I have laid out for our future -- not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years."

McDonnell added: "Like everybody, my views on many issues have changed as I have gotten older." He said that his views on family policy were best represented by his 1995 welfare reform legislation and that he "worked to include child day care in the bill so women would have greater freedom to work." What he wrote in the thesis on women in the workplace, he said, "was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views."

Posted by: SCH03 | July 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

It's a good start that Gibbs has apologized to Ms. Sherrod. But here's a question: when does ACORN get its apology? ACORN was thrown under the bus by the Administration in response to an identical situation, and in that case, as with this one, the Administration acted without having all the facts in place. Simply shameful

Posted by: markpkessinger | July 21, 2010 3:33 PM
Would that be following the line where Obama said the Cambridge police acted stupidly?

I've noticed that the left is good at jumping to conclusions and running with it before knowing all the facts. You seem to have noticed it too.

Posted by: gfafblifr | July 21, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Liam.

It's not about demanding perfection from the White House and the DLC Democrats currently in power, just common sense and - even more to the point - political smarts.

It's not a secret and (never has been) exactly who Andrew Breitbart is and what agenda he represents.

When you persist in treating those who have made their contempt and hatred of you clear and have explicitly stated their wish that you fail as though they are disinterested actors ;
when you refuse to recognize that Fox is NOT a news organization but a propaganda channel;
when you constantly cave to your critics on the right but ignore or actively attack your critics on the left;
when you begin negotiations by presenting your final compromise position as your opening gambit;
is it any wonder that you have lost popularity even when your actions have been a positive help to the majority of the country's citizenry?
Americans love a winner, and will almost always reflexively go for wrong and strong over right but light.

If you are going to be castigated by the right as a leftist even when you implement traditional (1960s-1980s) Republican policies, then why not use your political capital to take strong progressive stands?
In Healthcare, if single payer had been supported full heartedly by Obama, we might have a public option now and Big Pharma would not be laughing all the way to the bank as they are now.
If a return to Glass-Steagall had been seriously supported , we might now have a financial regulatory reform with teeth instead of what we have now.
It is this compromising character among Democrats that have led us to where we are now, where the Barry Goldwater of the 1960's, (who was on the right fringe of the Republican Party) would be called a liberal by today's mainstream conservative and a liberal pinko traitor by Teabaggers (many of whom are Christo-fascist in their outlook).
Whether history sees Barack Obama as another FDR or as another Paul Von Hindenburg is in hands.

Posted by: PierreFidelia | July 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

In the very near future Shirley Sherrod should be invited to the White House for some kind of "teachable moment" summit, perhaps with the farmer couple from Georgia.

Posted by: cestadire | July 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If the administration, or government isn't afraid of the demagogist media, then why didn't they do due diligence before forcing Sherrod's resignation? Ultimately there are grounds for a lawsuit here by Sherrod against the principles involved, a suit she will likely win. This apology is naught but an attempt to derail it. Even if Sherrod receives satisfaction from the government, she should still sue the demagogist media for libel, again a suit she will win. A suit such as this could create serious credibility issues for the demagogist media, issues that should have arisen prior to this, but hey, better now than never.

Posted by: TheghostofLennyBruce | July 21, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Call me a cynic, but I think it is clear that Tom Vilsack is smart enough and decent enough to have waited until all the evidence was in before he would have fired Ms. Sherrod on his own. What I just saw on MSNBC was a man who took the bullet for the President -- not to mention the NAACP. Unless Ms. Sherrod is a liar about having been told the White House was cited as demanding her resignation -- and she seems perfectly honorable to me -- I have to believe that Obama made the call on this and then threw Mr. Vilsack under the bus. Obama is well aware of how many white voters have changed their perception of Obama as overtly racial rather than post-racial and that alone is what caused Obama to call for her head. Just like George W Bush had to struggle to figure out what errors he might have made in office, Obama can't admit his, either.

For all you FOX-hating numpties, she was fired before they put this on the air.

Keep watching Chris Matthews, mouth-foaming Olbermann, smug Maddow and Ed Shults the full mooner. Throw in Capehart from the WAPO and Eugene Robinson as well and you have a full house of Obamanistas. The Fourth Estate has no more integrity than Pravda had during the cold war.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | July 21, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Again, reasonable Americans everywhere need to stand up against FoxNews. Fox news and their minions are going too far, this is nothing short of defamation of character and slander by a so called “fair and balanced” right wing fringe news organization. People are getting hurt, our country is already hurting, they are instigating a race war...and tearing this country apart with their unscrupulous reporting. Fox and these right wing conservative hypocritical unethical scoundrels need to be stopped and put in their place. They need to be held accountable for the outcome of the adulterated “news” stories they put out. People have already been hurt and many more will if this hateful, divisive and blatantly disturbing news channel is not stopped or at least held to the same standards as other news organizations. Fact checking before reporting is essential. The fact that they ran with a clip posted on a radical tea party ultra conservative website with a bone to pick with the NAACP should have automatically been a red flag. Shame on Fox and anyone else who knowingly went along with this piece of defamatory and crap.

Posted by: v4real | July 21, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

She is a racist who should remain fired. If a white person said what she did, this disussion would be over.

Posted by: hitaxpayer | July 21, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Call me a cynic, but I think it is clear that Tom Vilsack is smart enough and decent enough to have waited until all the evidence was in before he would have fired Ms. Sherrod on his own. What I just saw on MSNBC was a man who took the bullet for the President -- not to mention the NAACP. Unless Ms. Sherrod is a liar about having been told the White House was cited as demanding her resignation -- and she seems perfectly honorable to me -- I have to believe that Obama made the call on this and then threw Mr. Vilsack under the bus. Obama is well aware of how many white voters have changed their perception of Obama as overtly racial rather than post-racial and that alone is what caused Obama to call for her head. Just like George W Bush had to struggle to figure out what errors he might have made in office, Obama can't admit his, either.

For all you FOX-hating numpties, she was fired before they put this on the air.

Keep watching Chris Matthews, mouth-foaming Olbermann, smug Maddow and Ed Shults the full mooner. Throw in Capehart from the WAPO and Eugene Robinson as well and you have a full house of Obamanistas. The Fourth Estate has no more integrity than Pravda had during the cold war.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | July 21, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Sure. Sherrod was "taken out of context" and now they're falling all over themselves apologizing to her after poor Tom Vilsak fell on his sword to spare Obama from looking as though he "acted stupidly" like some Cambridge cop.
Listen to the rest of Sherrod's speech.
Try the part where she calls the entire Republican Party and the Bush Administration "racists." All of them? Really?

People have just gotten sick of this crap out of the left.
Maybe that was Breitbart's point? They're morally confused.

Posted by: parkbench | July 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Tom Visack needs to leave that office he said on TV that he did not care what the facts was. Now he will give her some low job that she will not be able to order a pencil unless he say so he has taken her away from a job to help the people why not give her back the job she had since she was apointed to the job I think they just wanted her out. The President can not over look this he needs to send Visack home.

Posted by: Ashley21 | July 21, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama is lying, our country is dying.

Impeach Obama.

Posted by: JCM-51 | July 21, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

K.I.S.S. This accomplished professional woman was forced to take her car off the road and be summarily fired by a bunch of neophytes (including our president) who are ncompetent, inexperienced fools with hubris. No combination is more dangerous. I say, "hit the road, Obama."

Posted by: vh1422 | July 21, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised that Brietbart made up a story to tarnish an African-American?
Or that Fox "News" runs that lie over and over, and ignores the fact that is discredited? Why the White House pays attention to the right-wing network's nonsense is a mystery.

Posted by: RuEb10 | July 21, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

A quick veer to the right, followed by a series of over-corrections, and suddenly this thing is spinning out of control.

The WH is looking Clintonesque in its evasiveness and parsing in this affair, and Carteresque in its ineptness.

Meanwhile, no one seems to mind that Ms. Sherrod still thinks that white people frequently "act superior to her" and still maintains this concept of people being "with their own kind."

She's not too smart, holds her biases deeply, and likes to wield her petty-bureaucrat power crudely and frequently.

Sounds like a perfect government employee to me, and a stereotype of what so many people think is wrong with the US government today.

Posted by: strukhoff | July 21, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I am finding this ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS and I am wondering what some are using for brains!

Observations:

Breitbart put the Sherrod video on the Net and it was obviously incomplete ... Big Clue!

A year ago Obama "Rash Judged" the situation with Prof. (black) Gates and the Cambridge Police, calling the Police "Stupid" etc., with incomplete information ... Big Clue!

Then, in his "brilliance" [that is Sarcasm for those who can't figure it out], Obama called it a "Teachable Moment!", as if we were too dumb to figure it out. Sorry, but Obama was the only one needing to learn from it!

Now comes the "Sherrod Situation" ....

Breitbart puts up an incomplete video, then ...

1. CNN, MSNBC and other Liberal Media blast it all over ...

2. NAACP condemns Sherrod for what she said ... even though they alone have her entire speech, and should know better.

3. The Administration goes NUTS and Orders Sherrod put in her resignation ...

4. Sherrod tells the media she was forced to Resign by the Whitehouse.

5. Then, after FOX learns Sherrod has Resigned, O'Reilly, Hannity and the van Susteren shows tell the public. Beck's show came on too early for him to even know about it. NOTE THAT!

6. Next day, Beck's show airs and Glenn takes the side of Sherrod, telling everyone "Context Matters!" and there is NOT enough information to reach a conclusion!

NOTA BENE - Glenn Beck is the only person who really gives Sherrod the Justice of "Not making a Rash Judgment" and insisting on all the Facts coming out First!

7. The Liberal Media is going "bananas" blaming FOX for hurting Sherrod, even though it was they who really did it!

8. The White House confirms Obama approves of the Dismissal of Sherrod.

9. Later that night, NAACP, alone in having the entire recording, finally realizes they messed up and does a 180, reversing their position.

10. Next morning "Rash Judge" Obama has his staff tell the USDA to reinstate Sherrod!

11. Then, the USDA's Vilsack tells the Press that he alone had Sherrod Dismissed, taking on the role of scapegoat to cover Obama's backside. If you fell for this pack of Lies, Shine up your Naive Merit Badge!

MAJOR QUESTION - What happened to Obama's LESSON from his "Teachable Moment" a year ago over Gates and the Police?

I will tell you - the "brilliant Obama" learned NADA, NOTHING, NOT A DING DANG THING!

The "Racist in Chief's" brain is so prejudiced and Narcissistic that he can't learn anymore!

Posted by: Veritatis1 | July 22, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I wonder where they dug up this guy Breitbart? My guess is that before he slithered out of his hole the other creatures that shared the hole all had moved out because of the stench. What a contrast between him and Ms Sherrod whom he did his best to destroy, then cowardly stated it was not between him and her, but between him and the NAACP. Of course the guy is a racist, like so many of his fellow teapartiers. Why would they oppose President Obama to such an extent, other than he is half black Migosh, imagine "us" having to respect a half black guy who should instead be shining our shoes and saying Yes Massah, whatever you say, Massah

Posted by: ananair | July 22, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ms. Sherrod accepts all the apologies and puts this injustice behind her as she has so many times in the past. Please, Ms. Sherrod, accept a position in the Department of Agriculture. That department has a terrible history of racial injustice, and Pres. Obama needs you to help reform it, as do all of us out here. Your ability to grow and change throughout your life, and your willingness to teach others to grow and change by sharing your experiences, as you did on that tape, are qualities we need in government.

Posted by: tughillb | July 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company