Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama: "get a job" and other "right wing" myths

"The right wing talks about [creating productive communities] but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out."

If one looks at the larger context of Obama's remarks, he speaks eloquently and uncontroversially, as usual. But since when is "get a job" a "myth"?

In this same, December 1995, Chicago source, Obama discusses "the Christian right":

The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it's always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.

It's interesting how close Obama came to remaining in obscurity. With just a month to go before the 2004 Illinois Senate primary, polls showed Obama with just 15% of the vote. However, he hoarded money for "a burst of television advertisements in the final weeks" and that, combined with the news that the divorce file of front-runner Blair Hull, who spent $29 million on the race, revealed allegations of domestic violence, gave Obama the primary win. After his speech at the Democratic national convention that summer before a national TV audience, Obama was up and away.

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