Friday, January 26, 2007

Personal Aside: Obama—Preserving Deniability--Who’s Fooling Whom?

martin Luther King 2


Someone who signs himself the “So-Called Austin Mayor” asked the other day on “Reader’s Comments” this question: “There are rumors on the Internet that you are deleting comments saying you are a fool for promoting the Obama/madrassa slur after it has been discredited by multiple news organizations. Are the rumors true?”

Answer: No, there have been no deletions. Nor am I such a fool as one who hides his identity behind the cover “So-Called Austin Mayor”—whatever in the world that label means. Replying to possible embarrassing questions through news-media surrogates gives a candidate deniability. Political strategy that preserves candidatorial deniability is an age-old ploy, SCAM but due to either your innocence or ignorance, I wouldn’t expect you to know.

Let me give you a few history lessons, wide-eyed one. Jefferson replied to charges that he had a mulatto mistress through newspapers to preserve his deniability…continuing for 200 years via conventional historical wisdom or protection until a few years ago. His rival Hamilton answered charges of his affair with Maria Reynolds was through newspapers to keep his deniability. Andrew Jackson’s defense of his wife’s bigamy came via the same route. His firing of his cabinet because of the Peggy Eaton affair the same…including denial of Grover Cleveland’s secret cancer operation at a ship at sea, relayed through the New York “Herald”…new presidential widower Woodrow Wilson’s dating of Edith Bolling Galt less than a year after the death of his first wife in 1914 and his forthcoming marriage in 1915…

…Warren Harding’s affairs and gambling in the house on F street via the Washington “Star”…the set-up of LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin was through denials routed through the media to preserve credibility through William L. White of the “New York Times”…JFK’s notorious womanizing covered up by Ben Bradlee…Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, stalled for months through the same method of media obfuscation…when shall I stop?

The trouble with you and your liberal kid fellows, SCAM, is that you phonies get week in the knees when you hear a black choir strumming “We Shall Overcome” and link the Obama campaign to the civil rights struggle you missed by 40 years. Me, my knees turned to Jello the first time I heard “Let Ev’ry Heart and Sing” led by Jim Farmer, the Republican predecessor to Martin Luther King at Little Rock where I went as a GOP staffer in 1957 to observe when Ike sent federal troops there to ensure the safety of black students enrolling at the former all-white Central high there--and they do still whenever I hear it. But those of us who were on hand can differentiate, as obviously you cannot, between the halcyon days of civil rights and David Axelrod’s political strategies in behalf of a political candidate who wasn’t born when the initial struggle was waged and trades off it.

Now let me answer your ridiculous contention that the news media have satisfactorily answered for Obama.

We have been treated to Fox News reports about the alleged madrassa and CNN’s denial of it…CNN sending a reporter on assignment to de-bunk the Fox story. The CNN reporter went to the school, looked around and asked the proprietors whether it was a madrassa. They said no. Not unlike Joe Wilson’s trip to Nigeria to my mind. The idea that it is racism to probe into a presidential candidate’s beliefs and early background is as ridiculous as someone hiding behind the façade of a so-called Austin “mayoralty.” The CNN report faithfully related by Obama’s Boswell and hagiographer Lynn Sweet proves very little other than today it is not an open and notorious madrassa. Also it is plain knowledge that the leaks came not from Republican sources but roundabout from the squinty-eyed son of a squinty-eyed FDR interior secretary, Harold Ickes. Sweet asked Obama’s press secretary if the rumor was leaked by the Hillary forces. No, of course not! Give me and all of us a break.

Now I’ll say this no matter how unpopular I makes me with you and your your Obama romantics. Given Obama’s middle name I maintain there is more to this story than we’ve been told. And judging from U. S. history it wouldn’t be the first time. So, So-Called Austin Mayor, chances are good that you and your fellows have been sucker-bait for Mr. Axelrod because they want to end the speculation without getting their guy on the record thereby preserving the candidate’s deniability. But sometime they’re going to have to answer it head-on as John Kennedy did. Then, even if Obama answers it satisfactorily, he and they will still have been responsible for a bonehead play--because by ducking and relying on CNN and other outlets to do their work for them, thus heightening justifiable cynicism that they weren’t telling the truth, they worsened their problem for themselves.


  1. so-called "Austin Mayor"January 26, 2007 at 4:04 AM


    "The trouble with you and your liberal kid fellows, SCAM, is that you phonies get week in the knees when you hear a black choir strumming “We Shall Overcome”

    I think you mean "weak in the knees."

    All the best,
    -- SCAM

  2. Tom,
    Is it possible;nay, is it plausible that our pencil necked journalist and the So Called Austin Mayor might be one and the same?

    Lois and Jimmy ain't talking and that's after John Burge gave them a tune up.

    A cunundrum wrapped in Falafal; I Tells Ya!

  3. I'll try again Tom--
    This was the moment for your gracious concession that all these rumors an all this innuendo --symbolized by your transparent repetition of Obama's middle name-- was much ado about nothing. Where was Mitt Romney educated as a boy? Where was Newt Gingrich educated? Sam Brownback? Have you ever asked? I doubt it. And how would you find out? Well, perhaps these men have made note of it in bios or their Websites...just as Obama has. In fact, Obama TWICE addressed his boyhood schooling in his books. When people wanted more details, his advisers--the surrogates you say you would have liked to have heard from, whom you pout have steadfastly refused to respond -- indeed did respond--clarified, re-stated and directed truly interested parties to research the matter if they had any other questions or doubts. CNN did. Rather than take his word and the word of his surrogates for it, the network actually went to the school and found that, as Obama's book suggests and his advisers insisted, THERE IS NO STORY HERE. You are now demanding that Obama himself come out and address again an issue in which no serious question remains outstanding. There will always be baseless rumors on blogs, Tom. Facts don't seem to get in the way of intemperate ranting on blogs, and I offer your post today as exhibit A.

  4. Tom-
    Time to print the cartoon I sent you from the Ottawa Citizen. Maybe that will lighten up this pack of zombies.

  5. Eric if you did not "tow the line" for Obama it would be very lonely for you where you work!

    To not "tow the line" would mean no promotions, no invitations to those special parties, no friends in your field, etc. I'll bet you just titter with toady-esque excitement when you are in the presence of the great OBAMA!

    Zorn you play your role as an Obama sycophant all too well! You are soooooo obvious!

    So in the end do they give you a glass of milk and an extra plate of cookies for being such a gooooood liberal boy! LOL

  6. Glad you shot the waterline of that last(deleted) fruit of the loom. Let the poor bastard go to his own blogs for dogs.
    When I lived in the Southwest, locals would say "he ain't worth a pinch of shit." Keep fighting in the Arena!

  7. Louis-
    I am most sincerely NOT refering to you!
    Cheers - Live many years!

  8. If the media would make 1/2 the effort investigating politicians as they are making obscuring Obama's background, we would already know what a quacks he and the other candidates are.


  9. ... made up a scurrilous rumor about you, like for instance that you are a grand dragon of the KKK, you would have to prove to everyone that that is not the case and that you did not plant this rumor for some purpose of your own because that is what you are saying Obama has to do. You would just rightly call it bull and so has Obama. No further explanation on his part is needed and any further whining by you is just an attempt to continue this nasty story in an effort to tarnish his image.

  10. Midwestern ProgressiveJanuary 28, 2007 at 12:37 AM

    Tom Roeser, local blowhard, who claims to not delete comments, actually deleted mine.

    Further evidence that Roeser is a liar. Liars sacrifice all their credibility when they are caught lying, as Roeser has been, twice.

    Nothing he writes can ever be taken seriously after this.

    Naturally, this comment won't last long either......

  11. You must have hit a nerve with the pencil-neck geek crowd, Tom. That is the second attempt that I have seen from the whiners at Midwest Progessive

    Like I told Jill Stanek, Tom, a Progressive sees himself as Atticus Finch, when in reality he is Ernest T. Bass. They throw rocks through windows, jump uo and down and scream and think that they have made a reasoned statement.

  12. Eric Zorn has attacked Tom over his posts about the stories of Obama allegedly attending a Madrassah. CNN has investigated and found nothing to them. This may be true. One would hope that many reporters would spend time there and either confirm or deny CNN’s story. But CNN hardly has a track record designed to inspire confidence. Remember Eason Jordan’s admitting that CNN was deceptive in its reporting from Iraq in order to keep its Bureau open. And Jordan’s wild claims that the US military was deliberately targeting reporters in Iraq.

    I’m skeptical about reporters based on my own research into the invention of GPS. Reporters, apart from the late Phil Klass of Aviation Week and Space Technology, accepted without question incorrect statements from people exaggerating their importance in its invention. My article is at

    I suggest that more work has to be done to either confirm or deny this story before Tom eats any crow.

  13. Tom, thanks for keeping the discussion of Sen. Obama's middle name alive. Imagine Americans supporting a candidate with the middle name of "Adolph" who had also spent a portion of his youth being educated in Germany before WWII. You bring relevancy to this discussion of potential 2008 presidential candidates.

  14. From

    WAYNE BARRETT:,,,, He hit all the right chords with the American public, he said all the right things, but we examine how he did all the wrong things between the 1993 bombing -- he was running for mayor in 1993 when that bombing occurred. He took office just months after the 1993….firefighters were using the same radios that they used at the ’93 bombing, even though we found a report that was written in 1990 that said that they were already obsolete and that they were a danger to the life of firefighters. And the firefighters are still carrying those same radios eight years after the 1993 bombing…just take the bunker, for example. It turns out we discovered memos where his top security advisors say you can't put it (command center) in the World Trade Center complex…The 23rd floor of 7 World Trade had never been rented. It was built for an investment banking firm as a trade floor. It had extremely high ceilings. It had been laying vacant for more than ten years. The private landlord who owned that became a gigantic donor to Rudy Giuliani, threw two big fundraising events on his yacht for it. They move into that floor, and it is a disaster on that day….They had no functioning command center. They had no functioning command center, because of terrible decisions that were made….Even Howard Safer, who was the police commissioner appointed by Giuliani, who goes way back with Giuliani to his federal days as a prosecutor, even Howard Safer warned him. We quote from a meeting of the cabinet, in which he called it in 1997. He said, “You can't put it in ground zero.” He called it “ground zero” then because it had already been bombed. Rudy just brushed aside all of this advice…”

  15. elizabeth alexanderJanuary 28, 2007 at 8:18 AM

    Not just CNN, but AP has also looked into the school which Barack Obama attended as a boy, (after attending a Catholic School. Should we investigate his Catholic schooling?) but Obama has denied the charges in print and on the Today Show. Now, just the Moonie magazine, Insight, and you Mr. Roeser, are clinging to the idea he is Muslim. You are concerned about his name? Isn't Roeser German? Should we worry that you were a member of Hitler's Youth group, hiding out here to later do us in? What kind of logic is that, Sir?

    And you are dismissive of the CNN report. Did you actually read the report?

  16. Kind of weird...

    ...for what it's worth, I had a tax prof at DePaul who told me Hitler was a fairly common name in Chicago before the 1930s... eventually everyone decided to change it.