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I don't want to rain on this parade, especially since I thought the speech was the best I have heard by a national US politician in my lifetime (born 68) but I have to.

I agree with you that race was not perhaps central to the speech. This is all about patriotism in the end.

And you can bet that the flags are a symbol of massive overcompensation, because they need to be.

All attacks on Obama have one thing in common. He is being fashioned as the Manchurian candidate. Every negative comment is meant to drive the notion home that he's not a real American.

This is always how the GOP goes at Democrats, and the only one to have avoided that level of scrutiny is Gore. Dukakis of course was Greek, not American; Clinton a draft-dodger; Kerry was a phony soldier who faked service to our country and then went hippie. All of them unpatriotic.

This is why the idea that the Muslim meme has now been blown out of the water doesn't really matter. It was never there in the first place to do anything but question his patriotism. Sure, Americans seem to despise Muslims in general, but Americans are also highly capable of coming to the conclusion that, "He's not one of the radical ones." I would argue, instead, that its primary intention was to make him seem unpatriotic, a man who doesn't love America as much as the true Americans. As such, it dovetails really nicely with the attacks on Wright.

The American mind works in soundbytes:

"God Damn America," err, hmmm, something a Muslim would say.

Black church, just like Farrakhan, don't think some Americans won't get this mixed up.

Nation of Islam, Black Panthers. Hmmmm.

People get Iraq and Iran confused, Al-Qaeda and Saddam.

Of course this is a racial attack, and a religious one. I'm not denying it. But the primary intent is still there. Make him seem unpatriotic.

Unfortunately, as is evident in the media, Obama does not yet have an answer to "God Damn America." His speech was breathtaking, but brains in this country are the size of a speck of saccharine. Where's the soundbyte to combat that? Nuanced mature serious discussion of race? Our last candidate had nuance as well. Where's the soundbyte?

I've heard it this morning: "I would no more disown Rev. Wright than I would my white grandmother." That's the one that gets repeated. But it's a mixed message. It associates White's patriotism or lack thereof with Obama's grandmother's latent racism. The two are not comparable other than to say that Obama has understandable difficulty disowning people who are close to him. But that's a personal dilemma. Where's the meme? How to combat: "God Damn America?"

The polls show that he has not won.

by Upstate NY on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 10:18:21 AM EST

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