“Cornel West on Obama is no better than a birther”

Jonathan Capehart:

Anyone who knows me, and knows me well, knows that I have little patience for the “Blacker than thou” crowd. These are the self-appointed guardians of what it means to be black — a decidedly limited and ignorant perspective that has more to do with the accuser’s insecurities than the alleged transgressions of the accused. And the leader of the pack these days seems to be Dr. Cornel West. In an interview with the Web site Truthdig, the brilliant Princeton professor took off after President Obama in a manner that was myopic, offensive and embarrassingly petty.

I understand the policy disagreements West and many African Americans have with Obama. But they appear to wilfully disregard that Barack Obama is the president of ALL of the United States, not just black folks. That’s why I tear my hair out over their complaints and their misguided explanations for why the president hasn’t done what they want him to do. They think he has turned his back on the black community. They either think he has to present a “pro-black” agenda or that what he has done isn’t “pro-black” enough. They think this is happening because he has been co-opted by powerful forces.

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At an opening reception for the new Washington offices of the National Action Network last night, the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed all this without mentioning West by name. “[I]f you’re trying to achieve something you’re strategic,” he said. “If you’re just trying to play to get some cheap applause then you just vent, holler, scream and go back home.”

Sharpton urged African Americans to hold Obama accountable but not in a way that undermines him. “I’ve seen this movie before,” he said. “We had the first black mayor of New York, David Dinkins. And we got mad every time he went to a non-black event and we pouted until some of us didn’t vote, he lost and we got eight years of Giuliani.” He went on to say, “We fought to have a real president,” Sharpton told me. “We want him accountable, but we don’t want him to be accountable to us any differently than anyone else so that it’d be used against him and us.”

“There are those that are not capable of getting their head around the fact that [Obama is] the president of the United States and that he has to deal with that and deal with every constituency group that way,” Sharpton continued. “Many of them are so caught in their own insecurities and egos, there’s no strategy. You’re dealing with a climate that [Obama’s critics] would even question his birth certificate, what would make you think that if he wrote out a ‘Black Agenda’ from him that they would accept that from him? That’s absurd.”

And what about the charge that Obama isn’t black enough? “First of all, who’s saying that? And who defines what is black enough?” Sharpton asked before rattling off a list of things Obama has done or is attempting to do in the areas of education, poverty and unemployment that have helped Americans, blacks in particular. “So, from black farmers to black colleges, a lot is being done,” he said. “More needs to be done. But, again, I think that there are those that have gone in the industry of being the blacks against Obama rather than trying to help the black community.

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politicususa: Depressed Republican Leaders Are Convinced Obama Will Easily Win Reelection

Republican leaders are now convinced that without a stronger candidate, President Obama will easily cruise to reelection in 2012.

A Politico story on Mitch Daniels today began with this sentence, “Top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected if stronger GOP contenders do not emerge.”

I suspect that Republicans are begging Mitch Daniels to get in the race for no other reason than to at least give Mitt Romney a credible challenger. Daniels is as interesting and exciting as watching paint dry, but his candidacy would represent a serious upgrade to the current 2012 GOP field. The truth is that the dull Daniels won’t beat Obama, but at least he won’t embarrass the party.

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Hurting the entire party is exactly what the GOP leadership is dreading with any of these current Republican candidates. Top Republicans are coming to the realization that the prospect of enticing a top tier candidate into the race is looking grim, so they are trying to find a candidate who can at least hold the base and not cost them anything more than the presidency.

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Wednesday Morning Mishmash

Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

8:30 AM PBO departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base.

8:50 AM PBO departs Andrews Air Force Base en route New London, Connecticut.

10:00 AM PBO arrives in New London, Connecticut.

11:30 AM PBO delivers the commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy.

4:00 PM VPB meets with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

4:10 PM PBO departs New London, Connecticut en route Boston, Massachusetts.

4:45 PM PBO arrives in Boston, Massachusetts.

6:15 PM PBO delivers remarks at a DNC event.

8:25 PM PBO delivers remarks at a DNC event.

9:55 PM PBO departs Boston, Massachusetts en route Andrews Air Force Base.

11:15 PM PBO arrives at Andrews Air Force Base.

11:30 PM PBO arrives at the White House.

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I really didn’t want to touch the whole Cornell West mess, because at this point he is no different from any teabagger, and he’s clearly a racist, but I did find these three pieces that are worth reading:

A reader writes to Andrew Sullivan

Adam Serwer: To Be Black, And Also A “Mutt”

Melissa Harris-Perry

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Smartypants made me smile:

President Obama’s opponents should take note

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And this made me smile even more:

Whoa. Did a Democrat just win the Jacksonville mayor’s race?

And this just made me laugh: