Here are excerpts from the Washington Post’s Colbert King’s column today followed by my response below the star line
King begins - - -
Say you find yourself seated on the train behind two white supremacists who are beside themselves over the possibility that Barack Obama could become America's first black president.
They are so fired up, they fail to notice you.
The men are discussing the urgent need to derail Obama's candidacy.
The obvious strategist of the two says that Obama's defeat can be brought about by hitting him hard, where it hurts the most.
We've got to launch an attack, he declares, on Obama's "lack of American roots." Paint him as a guy with an exotic background who's present in mainstream society but isn't really a part of it. ...
We must, the men agree, keep charging that Obama is not steeped in "basic American values."
That, dear reader, is the way virulent hate purveyors will seek to bring down Barack Obama: by portraying him as un-American and, oh yes, "unelectable."
To be fair, these anti-Obama sentiments cannot be attributed to two white supremacists riding on a train.
The words quoted above belong to Mark Penn, the top Democratic strategist and pollster for most of Hillary Clinton's run for the White House. They appear in a strategic campaign review memo, unearthed recently by the Atlantic magazine, that Penn sent to Clinton on March 19, 2007. …
Let us note that Hillary Clinton did not take Penn's advice, though she continues her association with him.
He's a longtime Clinton insider, the chief executive of the public relations giant Burson-Marsteller and an adviser to Fortune 500 chieftains. He's accorded respectability, access to the powerful and a fat bank account.
We have, thanks to Penn's own hand, a glimpse into his ethics and values. We can see how he would exploit heritage, background and class and use misleading and offensive characterizations in his work. We understand how he would go about challenging and demeaning Obama's American identity by suggesting that the Hawaii-born, Columbia- and Harvard-educated U.S. senator from Illinois is not American enough.
Cynically, he would make Obama out to be a threat to American values and culture. ...
It's fair to ask about his roots in basic American values. Why do business with him?
King’s entire column's here.
I've sent King the following electronic letter.
Dear Mr. King:
Why do business with Mark Penn?
I’ll bet it’s for the same reasons salons of Washington, the boardrooms of corporate America, foreign governments, our mainstream media and at least the Democratic Party have all done business for years with Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
I’ll bet it’s for the same reasons Sen. and Mrs. Obama did business with unsavory people in Chicago, befriended and sought the support of known terrorists such as Bill Ayes, and attended a church for 20 years knowing the pastor was a virulent racist who regularly delivered vile anti-American screeds from the pulpit.
Remember “God damn America” and “KKK – America?” And much worse?
Yet the Obama’s brought their children to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church for religious instruction.
Now I want to ask you a few questions.
How can millions of Americans who want to know why the Obama’s attended Wright’s church for 20 years and generously supported him with financial offerings get answers to those questions without being called racist?
Is just asking the Obamas to answer those questions itself a form of racism?
And did you publish anything when leading Democrats and Obama supporters such as Sens. Harkin and Rockefeller and Gen. Clark claimed Sen. McCain’s military service to our country made him less fit to be President?
I’ll publish your response in full at my blog.
Thank you for your attention to this letter.
John in Carolina