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The Hutchinson Political Report

A hard hitting news and commentary blog on race and politics in America. The Hutchinson Political Report features weekly commentary on hot button national issues by political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

Last Build Date: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:32:55 +0000


Officials Right to Damp Down Muslim Terrorism Fear in Boston Marathon Bombing

Tue, 16 Apr 2013 14:08:00 +0000

 Earl Ofari HutchinsonPresident Obama’s first official statement on the Boston Marathon bombing couldn’t have been plainer on this point: “We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.” Yet all it took was an isolated and scantily detailed report that Boston Police were questioning a young Saudi national to set off the standard rush to judgment finger point by some at Muslim terrorists. The Saudi national as it turned out is here on a legal visa and had no criminal record. But that didn’t stop some Muslim advocacy groups from quickly issuing statements condemning the attack as “cowardly.” This was both defense and precaution. One that Muslim groups feel is mandatory given the predictable speculation that they are the culprits in any violence virtually anywhere in the world that’s labeled “terrorist.”  The good thing is that government officials and many in the media have learned the lessons of the past and that’s to pause, take a breath, and wait until more is known about why an attack happened, and who the likely perpetrator(s) are. This spares officials and the media the ultimate embarrassment of pointing fingers in a direction that often prove wildly in the wrong direction. Obama applied the wait and see approach to a heinous act nearly four years in the immediate aftermath of the Ft. Hood, Texas bloodbath. The pack of shrill rightist bloggers and talk radio chatterers jumped all over the shooting of several military personnel at the military base and gleefully fanned anti-Muslim passions. It didn’t take much to get the hate juices flowing. A legion of writers on web sites spewed the ritual anti-Muslim slurs, profanities, and insults at the alleged shooter Major Nidal Hasan and by extension all Muslims.Obama quickly admonished the public not to rush to judgment about the shooting and the shooter. Obama took a page from then President’s Clinton and Bush’s playbook when mob hysteria was building after the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1996 and the 9/11 attacks. Clinton and Bush cautioned the public not to finger point Muslims for the attacks.The Oklahoma City bombing was the handiwork of Timothy McVeigh, a loose screw, red blooded American fanatic. The 9/11 attackers were mostly Saudi nationals. Yet, that still didn’t stop the murmurs, and finger pointing at and bashing of all Muslims.That’s no surprise. American Muslims have been the repeated targets of verbal digs, physical assaults, and profiling. They are just too inviting a scapegoat for the fears and frustrations many Americans have had over two failed and flawed wars, a stagnant Middle East peace process, and even more frightening to many, the increasing presence of more and more Muslims in their neighborhoods, schools, and work places, especially when wearing Muslim attire. Beyond the need for caution and just plain good sense in making public or official pronouncements on who committed a heinous act of violence and the motive behind it, there’s also the sobering reality that much of the recent mass violence in the country has nothing to do with alleged crazed, vengeful Muslim terrorists. It’s been home grown and the perpetrators have been young, loose screwed, gun nuts. Or, they have been right wing, racist loons that have a beef against a judge or a federal official. This has tragically awoken millions of Americans to the grim reality that mass terror can be inflicted just as easily, maybe even easier, by the withdrawn, delusional kid, next door as a foreigner sneaking into the country bent on mayhem and murder.This also should not surprise when we consider that the US has poured a king’s ransom during the past decade into foreign and homeland security, surveillance, monitoring, and arrests, and detention of countless individuals with known or suspected terrorist group connections. Government officials periodically note with pride that the money is not a total waste since there have been no known successful terrorist attacks[...]

President Obama’s State of the Union Speech Already under Fire

Sun, 23 Jan 2011 15:23:00 +0000

Earl Ofari Hutchinson President Obama’s second State of the Union Speech scheduled for Tuesday, January 25 is under fire before he has even uttered one word of it. This was predictable. The State of the Union speech is generally one of the most watched and listened to political speeches. It’s a President’s report card on the accomplishments, the present and future planned initiatives of his administration and his vision for the country. GOP and Democratic presidents are keenly aware that their Democratic and Republican opponents know that State of the Union Addresses boost the stature, prestige, and power of the presidency, and usually bump up the president’s approval rating by a point or two. They also know that the opposition’s response to the speech is feeble, pale, and little watched or counted by Americans. In some cases the opposition response can even backfire. That happened last year when GOP Louisiana governor Bobby Jindahl fumbled and bumbled through what most political observers deemed a mean-spirited, petty retort to Obama. The history of the State of the Union speech underscores the power to shape policy and bolster the president’s image. President James Monroe announced the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln flatly called for the end of slavery in the rebellious states. This was the prelude to the Emancipation Proclamation he issued a year later. Woodrow Wilson warned of the dangers of impending war in 1913. Franklin Roosevelt outlined the famed Four Freedoms in 1941. Lyndon Johnson unveiled the outlines of his Great Society program to fight poverty in 1965. Bill Clinton unveiled his health care reform plan in 1993. George Bush in his State of the Union speeches in 2002 and 2003 prepped the nation for the Iraq invasion. Presidents quickly latched on to the media to give their State of the Union speech more exposure and political wallop. Calvin Coolidge gave the first radio broadcast in 1923. Truman gave the first televised broadcast in 1947.The attacks on President Obama before he’s spoken have been partisan, familiar, and absurd. Absurd when GOP Georgia Rep Paul Broun with no inkling of what President Obama would actually say, told a radio caller that he would not sit next to a Democrat during the speech “when Obama spews his venom.” Broun reacted to the Washington DC policy think tank, Third Way’s proposal that Democrats and Republicans mix up their seating during the President’s address. GOP Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell took a different tact from Broun’s loony outburst. He jumped on reports that Obama will call for more increased federal spending on infrastructure, research, and for small business. McConnell blamed Obama’s supposed runaway federal spending for getting the country into the economic mess of the last two years. This of course belies and ignores the political and economic damage that the Bush’s administration’s giveaway to Big Business and the banks, and Wall Street’s push of the economy to near collapse did. But Obama’s renewed call for more strategic spending fits in with the public’s loud demand that the Obama administration refocus its time, talent and energy on jobs and the economy. Obama has gotten that message, his stimulus measures in the tax cut extension, the high profile appointments of business friendly William Dailey as Chief of Staff, and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Wall Street insider Gene Sperling as key economic advisors, and talks on business and investment during the Chinese President’s state visit put business and the economy at the front of Obama’s front burner. Obama critics have even reached back a year and picked apart his first State of the Union address and harangued him for allegedly lashing out at Republicans. Business Insider headlined its STOU piece with the question, “A Less Partisan State of the Union Speech?” It scolded Obama for his criticism of the Supreme Court for its conservative majority decision in Citizens United in 2010. The decision opened the[...]

More Say they Like Bush than Obama Grates to No End

Tue, 07 Dec 2010 17:14:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonThe CNN poll in October that found that almost as many people said they liked George W. Bush as President Obama seemed like it was either a case of some drunk counting the numbers, or a headline grabbing ploy by CNN on a slow news day. The poll seemed to add even more insult to absurdity when it found that a statistically insignificant 2 percent said that Bush was a worse president than Obama. A year earlier Obama had more than a 20 percent edge over Bush in the number that ranked him a far better president than Bush. But now Gallup has weighed in with its poll on Bush’s alleged renewed popularity. It went even than the earlier poll and found that Bush has edged past Obama by one percentage point as the better ranked president. Gallup just crunches the numbers and doesn’t really go to deep into why the supposed stunning turnaround in Bush’s popularity other than to chalk it up to the passage of time, short memories, a little historical revisionism, and of course, Bush’s well orchestrated and scripted book tour filled with adulatory, and puff ball interviews.That’s much too simple. It’s true that the passage of time does dim memories and presidents that left office with abominable ratings (Truman) or were driven from office in public disgrace (Nixon), or suffered a landslide loss (Carter) get cut some slack with age, and are benevolently viewed as harmless, even wizened elder statesman. With the passage of time, historians pick and highlight the favorable things that low rated presidents did. In Truman’s case, it was the Marshall Plan and his hanging tough against the Soviets during the early stages of the Cold War. In Nixon’s case it was his China thaw, and accepting the wind down of the Vietnam War. With Carter, he’s garnered admiration as a better president outside the White House than inside the White House with his thoughtful books, commentaries, and insights on foreign policy and his globetrotting peace keeping and humanitarian efforts. But that took years, even decades before the public rehabilitation of former presidents. Bush is getting the historical pass barely two years out of office. The colossal giveaways to the corporate rich and Wall Street, a failed, flawed, and absolutely unnecessary war, a bungled Katrina response, off the chart sex, and corruption scandals within the GOP, a tanked economy, and a general clueless, governing incompetence that defied political belief have seemingly vanished from public and historical view faster than a Houdini disappearing act. The disappearance doesn’t totally explain why so many now pine for a return of Bush over Obama. Bush has rally done nothing to deserve this nostalgia, and history has certainly not absolved him, let alone vindicated him of, his colossal policy failures. Bush gets the early pass in part because of the two year relentless, and structured GOP campaign of denigration, vilification, and assault on Obama’s policy initiatives and Obama personally. Its shock troops, the Tea Party horde, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Palin and the endless pack of shrill, hatchet job rightside bloggers, websites, and talk show hacks have effectively painted a picture of an Obama as an alien, anti-American, a closet Muslim terrorist sympathizer, a socialist, communist, and an inveterate America basher and hater. The other part is the confusion, frustration, and even anger at Obama for not selling the positive accomplishments that his administration has accomplished in the face of the GOP assault and the mess that Bush’s failures have littered his presidential path with. There’s also the anger at him from the throng of progressive and liberal Democrats for not hitting, and hitting back hard ala Truman and FDR at the GOP’s bullying, badgering and hectoring. The term that was once heard in only the faintest of whispers “cave” in in regards to his policy compromises with the GOP has now progressed to a roar. The latest being the compromise agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts f[...]

Stop the Rush to Judgment on Call for Clinton to Resign over WikiLeaks

Thu, 02 Dec 2010 01:33:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonSecretary of State Hillary Clinton must explain what she meant when she allegedly signed the much railed at orders in April and July 2009 that allege that she ordered US diplomats to spy on UN officials and others. But that hasn’t stopped the rush to judgment in the calls for her resignation. It’s not just a premature call, it’s a silly call. Yes, on the surface, it does look bad. The Secretary seeming to secretly order State Department officials to collect the fingerprints, facial images, DNA, and iris scans, of African leaders and to obtain passwords, personal encryption keys, credit card numbers, frequent flyer account numbers, and other data connected to diplomats. The Clinton bashers have leaped to conclude from this that she ran a giant spy network out of the State Department and used state department officials, American diplomats, and the usual suspects, the CIA, and other shadowy US backed foreign intelligence agencies to get the goods on diplomats, big and small. There are three problems with this. The WikiLeaks cables are simply raw cables. There is absolutely no context, background, rationale, or even hard verification about the time and place given for when and even why Clinton or any other state department official asked for the information, not to mention what they hoped to do with it if they did indeed order systematic spying. The U.S. has run well documented intelligence and counter-intelligence operations since the Cold War and has vast experience, state of the art technology, and well placed operatives to gather whatever information it needs on the actions and activities of friends and foes. It has never had a problem getting that information. The second problem is that much of the information that Clinton allegedly hungered to get on UN diplomats was already public information and easily obtained in the endless meetings, conferences, discussions, and briefings, as well as the exchange of information that American friendly diplomats routinely share with the State Department. The information is shared through front and back door channels. Clinton reiterated this point noting that official foreign policy is not set through diplomatic cables but at and within the White House. Clinton also added the obvious that she and other US diplomats routinely meet with and get information all the time from an array of sources, and the information, some of it sensitive, is given without the need for stockpiling DNA, fingerprints and Iris scans. The biggest problem is the speed and fury in the call for Clinton’s head. The calls are not made because of high moral concern over a compromised State Department, a suddenly ineffectual Clinton to do her job, or the illegality, or at best embarrassing impropriety of what the cables purport to show she did. It’s about politics. Spying is institutionalized in US foreign policy and every other major nation’s policies and operations and every president and state department official has either authorized spy operations, snooping on allies, or flatly conducted illegal operations. The Bush administration targeted any and everyone it considered a foe or potential foe, American citizen or not, with a systematic spy, monitoring and surveillance operation if suspected of being a potential terrorist. Organizations and individuals were slapped with so-called roving wiretaps (taps that can be placed on an individual or group anywhere, anytime) again based on the flimsiest evidence or suspicion. Bush officials stretched the term terrorist to include anyone that it said was a "terrorist combatant," where and how long that individual could be held (indefinitely) and how they should be legally disposed of (none of the standard constitutional protections). There were no calls for Bush officials to resign and there were no demands that the State Department which certainly was privy under Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to the dubious actions tender their r[...]

President Obama should turn a Deaf Ear to chatter About Not Running Again

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:56:00 +0000

Earl Ofari Hutchinson President Obama should turn a deaf ear to the silly chatter about him not running again. He’s heard plenty of that in the weeks since the midterm election drubbing. Much of the chatter hasn’t come from the usual, hostile GOP and Tea Party suspects. They’ve flatly said their goal is to make Obama a failed, flawed, president and presidency. The stand down talk has come in a string of op-ed pieces, web and blog talk, speculation and guesswork, from some respected Democrat Party supporters and operatives. If Obama self designates himself a lame duck president now supposedly the GOP will call off the attack dogs, embrace cooperation and bipartisanship, and this will help promote national unity, allow him to make real headway on attaining his foreign policy goals on the Afghanistan war, North Korean nukes, the Middle-East, shepherd through an economic recovery, and spare packs of Democratic incumbents from losing their jobs in another tidal wave against him in 2012. None of this makes any sense. The GOP declared civil war on Obama not last month, or last year, but the instant the final vote declared him the presidential winner in 2008. The GOP did not launch its take no prisoner’s war solely to drive him from office. The war would have been waged against Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat that won the presidency. The only thing different about Obama from them is he’s African-American and that opened the racial floodgate to hector, harass, and pillory, and demean him. The GOP war is about regaining power, control, political dominance, protecting its corporate and financial interests, its strict construction definition and enforcement of the laws, and more broadly imposing its philosophical view of how government should be run. The presidency is the grand prize that pulls the political, economic and philosophical threads on how government and power will be exercised together for the GOP. Then there’s this question. If Obama can perform the political miracle that will bring political peace and unity, help the economy and improve foreign policy, by not running then why couldn’t he do it as president? The Obama one-term proponents give no real answer to this. The other blurred crystal ball gazing foisted off as political reason for Obama to pack it in in 2012 is that America has plummeted into an era of scarcity, class gaping divisions between rich and poor, plunging living standards, military decline, and faces major challenges to its economic dominance from China, India, Brazil, Japan, and Western Europe. In this view America is going the way of the Roman and British Empires. This supposedly explains the anger and angst of the Tea Party at Obama. In short, he’s the fall guy for America’s sink. This is bunkum too. The Tea Party’s relentless rage and hounding of Obama is not fueled by insecurity over where the tomorrow’s paycheck is coming from, whether America will get clocked in Afghanistan, what Brazil will or won’t do in the financial markets, or that the government can’t pay its bills because of massive hock to everyone. It’s fueled by race and shrewd media and political manipulation. America has been in the era of economic uncertainty, foreign competition, and military shrinkage, for the past two decades. If America’s domestic and foreign slide alone was a reason to tell a president not to run that president should have been W. Bush in 2004. There were no loud cries, endless polls, and legions of pundits clucking to Bush to step down. And if he did, it would somehow reverse America’s slide, or at least let him off the hook for it. But that’s exactly what Obama is being told. A little history is in order. He can’t win. He’s made a mess of the economy. His foreign policy initiatives have stalled. The inexperience that his opponents repeatedly warned would do him in once he got in the White House proved true. A Gallup poll backed up the rampant talk that [...]

The Hutchinson Political Report: Why Carville Won’t Apologize to Obama for his Ball...

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 05:26:00 +0000

The Hutchinson Political Report: Why Carville Won’t Apologize to Obama for his Ball...: "Earl Ofari Hutchinson Not surprisingly the always dependable controversial quotable especially when it come to knocking President Obama D..."

Why Carville Won’t Apologize to Obama for his Balls Crack

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 05:24:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonNot surprisingly the always dependable controversial quotable especially when it come to knocking President Obama Democratic strategist James Carville was petulant and defiant when asked whether he’d apologize for his latest Obama wisecrack. The dig was Carville’s supposedly play on an old joke when he cracked that Hillary Clinton should give Obama one of her balls. Carville, of course, got several things out of this supposed joke. He got attention from the White House. No surprise there, it didn’t like the offensive crack. He got media attention which was guaranteed considering that Carville made it and the butt of the joke/attack was Obama. He got a virtual guarantee that he’ll continue to get a microphone and a camera stuck in front of him on a slow day when a chatter box TV or radio show needs a colorful quote about Obama. But more disturbing, he got applause from some quarters for allegedly saying what needs to be said about Obama. The something that supposedly needs to be said is the relentless, drumbeat refrain from progressive and liberal Democrats that the president needs to take the velvet gloves off and show the iron fist to the GOP hit attackers. Obama has had to hear that demand, plea, pillory for months now. The plea for a harder edge from the White House is certainly a legitimate one. The GOP, Tea Party, and the pack of rightwing shrill bloggers, web sites, talk show jocks are waging a second political civil war against Obama. They’ve made it clear their goal is one goal and that’s to do everything possible to tar him and his presidency, as flawed, failed and one term. If it take everything from sabotaging every initiative and piece of legislation which even remotely carries his fingerprint on it they’ll do it. If it means telling the president to shove his courtesy, protocol invitation to come to the White House to meet and greet and discuss ways to work together on issues where there is mutual agreement, they’ll do that too. The call for Obama to punch back will continue to resound loudly. But there’s a right and a wrong way to say it, and a right venue in which to say it. An off color alleged joke that doesn’t sound much like a joke from a professional quipster is hardly the right way to get a legitimate criticism across. Carville knew this and knew that he would be asked to apologize. It was a foregone conclusion that he wouldn’t. I say forgone because Carville’s offensive, and demeaning crack fits into a by now well-established pattern in packs of Obama critics say whatever comes to mind no matter how crass, crude, and thoughtless publicly about Obama. It could be a off color race tinged slur, a crack about his patriotism, citizenship, his trips, his looks, First Lady Michelle, his dog, or even an innocuous children’s book. It’s open season on this president, and anything no matter how off the wall goes, and will be quoted, cited, and whipped around the blogosphere as truth and fact. The added guarantee that any silly and offensive inanity about Obama will make the rounds is that the ones that purse their lips to utter the dumb stuff are not the usual suspects in the GOP and Tea Party, Limbaugh, Beck and Sarah Palin, that’s expected. The ones taking the shots at him are supposedly Obama friends and allies. Carville remember is a Democrat’s Democrat. Others from billionaire Democratic Party bankroller George Soros and liberal funnyman Bill Maher have taken their shots at the president for one alleged failing or another, and as expected. It’s front page news when they do. Obama can expect more blame, finger pointing, and cheap shots, to be take at and heaped on him. Carville was just the latest to open his mouth and rag on the president, but by no means the last. Expect no apologies from any of them during this very open season on the president and presidency. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an[...]

Surely, No One Should Be Surprised that Palin Plays the Race Card

Sat, 20 Nov 2010 00:30:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonThe advance PR flacks for HarperCollins knew exactly what they were doing when they calculatedly leaked a provocative passage from Sara Palin’s newest ego stroke book, America by Heart. The passage incited race. This time the target is not President Obama, at least not directly. It is First Lady Michelle Obama. Palin dredged up the worn, tired, and patently false charge claiming that Michelle sullied America when she allegedly said at a stop during the 2008 campaign she was not proud of America until Obama became a viable presidential candidate. The quote was deliberately hacked up out of context. The oft, well-documented cite of the full quote, its context, and Michelle’s expansive clarification mean nothing to Palin. In her twist and bend of Michelle’s words, it becomes a statement of fact to show that Obama as she put it learned to hate white folks listening to the racial “rants” of their former pastor Jeremiah Wright. Palin’s silly, and ignorant distortion makes perfectly good sense when you consider her and the political calculus she’s using. First there’s her. Palin’s track record in acknowledging, let alone promoting diversity during her short tenure as Alaska governor was abominable. She’s on record with only a terse utterance on hate crimes legislation and on cultural diversity. According to the 2000 Census figures, blacks made up officially about 4 percent of the state population. But those who self-identify as at least part African-American bump up the percentage much higher. When American Indians, Aleuts, Eskimos, and Asians are taken together, minorities make up about one quarter of Alaska’s population. This makes the state one of the most ethnically diverse in the nation. Palin didn’t even bother to pay the customary lip service to hiring and promoting a diverse staff. She had no problem making that clear in a heated and contentious meeting with black leaders in Alaska, including prominent ministers, NAACP officials, and community activists. They met with Palin to voice their complaint over minority hiring and job opportunities. During the meeting she allegedly said that she didn’t have to hire any blacks. Even more damning, she purportedly said that she didn’t intend to hire any. Her press secretary disputed the charge, but revealingly added that Palin did not hire staff persons based on color, but solely on talent and skill.But even if Palin had taken a stab at diversity it wouldn’t alter her political calculus one bit. Race is and has been the sometimes sneaky and coded, and other times open hammer that packs of bloggers, websites, talk radio jocks, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and gaffe prone GOP operatives have used to fan their institutionalized Obama hatred. They know that a racial tweak here and there will always touch a raw among many bigots who have made it amply plain that they loathe Obama’s policies and by extension him and will stop at nothing to get him out of the White House. Michelle fits into the Palin plan to use her as a racial foil to smear the president. Michelle is gracious, charming, photogenic, smart, and most importantly from a political view, popular. That makes her a ripe target to go after. By playing race and trying to discredit her Palin does two things in addition to taking a backdoor swipe at the president. She tears down someone who can actually pose as a counterweight to the ugliness and mountainous negatives that polls show that Palin has piles of. Her other devious motive in going after the First Lady for her mythical sin is that is it serves as a convenient reminder that Michelle and Obama ala Bill and Hillary Clinton are a tandem team and that the alleged failing or missteps of the president can just as easily be attributed to Michelle as well. That’s why Palin picked on Wright to remind her cheerleading crowd that Obama ad Mi[...]

The Hutchinson Political Report: Exclusive Interview with Progressive House Congr...

Sat, 13 Nov 2010 17:21:00 +0000

The Hutchinson Political Report:

Exclusive Interview with Progressive House Congr...
: "Exclusive Interview with Progressive House Congressional Caucus Co-Chair Lynn Woolsey on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM Radi..."

Sat, 13 Nov 2010 17:11:00 +0000

Exclusive Interview with Progressive House Congressional Caucus Co-Chair Lynn Woolseyon The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Houron KTYM Radio Los Angeles November 12, 2010The Hutchinson Report:Many are not familiar with the Progressive House Caucus. How big is it?LW: We had 83 members before the election. It is bicameral with House and Senate members. It’s by far the largest caucus in Congress. We lost four members this election. But we also gained a couple of new members. We will not have less than 80 members in the next Congress. The Blue Dog Democrats lost almost two thirds of their members. THR: What are the major issues that the Caucus will press Congress and the Obama Administration on?LW: It is clear that we represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. So, the first item is jobs. We have to have a robust jobs bill. One that we should have had when President Obama first took office and his popularity was at its height. He had a big majority in the House and Senate. We would have doubled the amount of money allocated for the jobs bill that came out of the House which the Senate cut to the shreds. The other priority is combating the notion that the timetable for ending the Afghanistan war is 2014. The war is killing our budget, killing our people, and killing our relations with our allies.THR: What does it take to make that happen?LW:None of this is going to happen until we get money out of politics, get a bigger control of the media, and that means diversifying ownership beyond the three corporations.THR:The headline article in the Washington Post, November 11, was “Liberals plan to push Obama not to compromise with GOP.” Will the Progressive Caucus take the lead in pushing the president not to ‘compromise’ with the GOP?LW:We were the most productive House in recent legislative history in getting key pieces of legislation passed. Unfortunately, it was not enough. We were in such a deep economic hemorrhaging. We stopped that. But to do more we have to be even bolder in our actions. We’re going to push the White House to come forth with bold steps. It’s not too late now. But it will be in two years. So we’re hoping that he recognizes that.THR:White House advisor David Axelrod was quoted to the effect that Obama would compromise on the “big issues” Did that set off alarm bells with you and the Caucus members?LW:I and Caucus co-chair Raul M. Grijalva sent the President a letter Friday, November 12 that we totally support rolling back the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy. And no cuts in other programs such as food stamps that benefit the poor and needy.THR:White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberals and progressives as the “professional Left” for continuing to criticize the president despite what he’s tried to accomplish.LW:I totally disagreed with him. I’ve won office with 70 percent of the vote and there is a large base of voters that are progressive. This is America and they do have the right to express themselves. And criticism or not of us, we’re not going to stop our criticism on policy issues we disagree with. In fact, in line with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the House Pacific Asian Caucus we will represent a good majority of the Democrats who remain in the House.THR: So no compromise on the core issuesLW: Any idea that we’re going to reach across the aisle and surrender our democratic ideals on jobs, health care, education, and fighting for working people and not the wealthy is not going to happen. We’re not going to compromise our votes to support programs just to appear that we’re compromising. We’re not going to start from the right of center and go further to the right. That’s not what the nation needs.THR:There were reports that during the health care debate the White Ho[...]

Bush’s Love fest for President Obama

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 16:58:00 +0000

Earl Ofari Hutchinson Former President George W. Bush seems to be about the only top Republican in the land who hasn’t taken a shot at President Obama. There’s not one, I repeat, not one single word of criticism of Obama’s performance to date in the White House in Bush’s near 500 page memoir, Decision Points. In fact, forget the word criticism, the times that Bush mentions Obama in the book he practically gushes over him on everything from the handling of the Afghanistan war to the economic crisis. The easy answers for why Bush’s love fest with the president is that he’s a much maligned, much reviled former president who finds it prudent to take the statesmanlike high ground, and shower praise on his successor, lest he run the grave risk of putting his failed, flawed, bumbling and blundering policies back on the table as fair game for attack. Another answer is that he’s simply following presidential protocol, and that is speak no ill of your successor. Or, that he’s trying to peddle a book, and since it’s not a sex and smut gossipy, tabloid tell all, he and the book must come off looking and sounding politically revealing, intriguing, and informative, to get the cash registers jingling on book sales. These undoubtedly are sensible reasons for Bush’s gratuitous deference to Obama. But there are other reasons that are even more compelling. Obama has in part through political necessity, pragmatism, and political belief followed in some of Bush’s footsteps. The two most prominent things that Bush praised him for are the handling of the Afghan war and the economic crisis. Obama and Bush have been in lockstep agreement that the war should be waged, and waged to win, and that the US would spend whatever it takes, and make whatever military sacrifices that have to be made to insure that. At every stage of the presidential campaign, Obama’s speeches, and his action to escalate the war once in the White House, confirmed that he meant business on this. It was virtually the same tough, unrelenting position that Bush struck on Iraq. If you’re George W. Bush you can’t help but like this and cheer lead Obama for it. If you’re Bush you also have to like Obama’s willingness to leave virtually untouched the deals worked out to rescue the banks, the Wall Street houses, and keep in place as your top economic advisors and micro managers those with close ties to the banking and corporate leaders, and who will play it close to the vest on tax, spending, and budget decisions. Then there’s the way things are done in the White House. Obama like Bush did what every other new president does during his first two years in office. He used the early public goodwill to make politically favorable appointments, ink executive orders and push through Congress programs that likely would draw fire later on, while exerting a tight grip on executive power, and casting an eye on building a favorable historic legacy. In Bush’s first address to Congress, he cast himself as the education president, talked about health care reform, and made a vague promise to tackle paying off the national debt. Obama has repeatedly talked about these issues, up to and including carbon copying and tweaking one of Bush’s few signature achievements, the No Child Left Behind initiative. Obama like Bush took big campaign hits for being a foreign policy novice and has moved just as quickly to meet and talk with foreign leaders, embark on a busy round of state visits, and try to repair the monumental damage that Bush did in poisoning relations with America’s allies. But at the same time, Bush staunchly backed a national missile defense system in Europe. So did Obama initially. He called a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland the most cost-effective and proven d[...]

Exclusive Interview with Congressional Black Caucus Chairperson Barbara Lee

Sat, 06 Nov 2010 00:17:00 +0000

The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker HourExclusive Interview with Congressional Black Caucus Chairperson Barbara Lee on the Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour, Friday November 5, KTYM Radio, ktym.comThe Hutchinson Report:Was there any silver lining for the Democrats in the GOP and Tea Party Congressional surge?Barbara Lee:The public did not reject the Democrats. This was a referendum in part for change and in part out of anger and frustration over the economy and the job situation. This is understandable. But there was also a cynical effort at work. Every effort the Congressional Black Caucus and House Democrats put forth to create jobs, maintain unemployment benefits, and shore up the economy the Republicans voted against it. The played on people’s anger and vulnerability to torpedo the efforts Democrats made while doing nothing the past two years to help turn things around. When we passed the economic recovery package under Bush that still wasn’t enough, but we were the ones not the Republicans that made the effort to stimulate the economy.THR: That message did not come through loud enough during the election.BL: But we should never forget that it was GOP policies that got us here in the first place. The next two years the public will see how the GOP is fighting for the wealthy, for tax cuts to benefit the rich. They’ve already made it clear that’s their agenda. But I believe that the public wants us to preserve, not privatize, Medicare, Social Security, and not make harmful spending cuts. These are the initiatives that the Tea Party wants to do.THR:What are the top priorities of the Congressional Black Caucus?BL:Jobs, jobs, jobs. This has been our priority for some time. Unemployment among blacks and Latinos is in some places double that of the national average. I worked to pass the youth employment program and most Democrats supported it. It passed twice with no GOP votes, and died in the Senate.When you look at the poverty, inequality, and wealth gap in the country and how so many African-American families are losing what little wealth that they’ve built up over the years as a result of the jobs and home foreclosure crisis, we’ve got to make sure that our community that are suffering the most from the economic hard times gets its share of jobs, green industry job creation, and program funding support.THR: Did Congress do enough though to combat the crisis?BL: In some ways we didn’t move fast and far enough. The stimulus recovery package should have been $1 trillion but we couldn’t get the GOP even to agree to the $780 billion allocated. People must not be confused who their friends are and the record shows that every effort the president and the Democrats put forth to work with Republicans on job creation, to help small business, to expand tax credits, and infrastructure development the GOP voted against.THR: The major criticism is that the president and Democrats did not sell their message to voters on the positive accomplishments that the party made or tried to make.BL: It was very difficult selling our message. When you have the major news outlets and commentators promoting right-wing policies, and that dominate the airwaves, it’s even harder to get a positive message out. Then there was money. The Supreme Court ruling that corporations could spend unlimited amounts on elections without full disclosure was a shame and disgrace but it’s also tough to overcome.THR: But it still came down to getting or failure to get an effective message out, and how to do that.BL: We’re going to have to develop our own ways of communicating the truth to the America people that means grassroots organizing, townhalls, and using social media networks. We’re going to have be 21st Century communicators to turn it around a[...]

The Hutchinson Political Report: Exclusive Interview with White House Senior Advi...

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 03:16:00 +0000

The Hutchinson Political Report:

Exclusive Interview with White House Senior Advi...
: "Exclusive Interview with White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on The Hutchinson Report with Earl Ofari Hutchinson October 30, 2010 ..."

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 01:16:00 +0000

Exclusive Interview with White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on The Hutchinson Report with Earl Ofari HutchinsonOctober 30, 2010 Pacifica Radio NetworkTHR:Many political pundits predict that the GOP will take over the House. How will the White House deal with that possibility?VJ:We don’t pay any attention to the pundits. If we listened to them the president would not have run for the presidency since he was considered by most as a long shot. But we had confidence that we could appeal to the American people with a positive program. In any case, the most important poll is the vote on Election Day. We have seen momentum growing the past couple weeks and everywhere the president goes people are reacting positively to him and his message. We’ve reminded everyone that even though he isn’t on the ballot it’s important that he have a Congress that he can work with.THR What if he doesn’t?VJ: Then we’re in jeopardy of going back to where we were when he took office and we had no protection from the excesses and the risks that led to the economic crisis. The Republicans have made it clear that they’d cut spending on education, gut the health care law, get rid of regulatory reform and the consumer protection agency. The Republicans want to and will try to stop everything positive and reverse the progress we’ve made in the last two years.THR: President has not done the best job in selling his message of progress and accomplishment and that’s been a huge problem.VJ: It’s always easier to scare people than inform them and the GOP has done a masterful job of that. They done it starting with the nonsense and falsehoods about death panels during the health care reform debate and they haven’t stopped appealing to people’s fears. When unemployment is high, people are frustrated and angry and don’t understand why we’re not in better shape. We have to remind people that we lost millions of jobs before the president took office and that people were suffering then. And even though we’ve had nine months of job growth it’s still hard to get that message across when you have people trying to constantly scare the public.THR: Many progressives are also frustrated and disenchanted with the President and criticize him for not moving fast enough on sweeping change.VJ: It’s true there is frustration there. The health care fight is a good example where we got 90 percent of what we fought for and people are frustrated about that. But again, we remind them that we got a law that provides coverage for 30 million uninsured, millions of children, eliminates preconditions for coverage and strengthens preventive health care measures. So we have to keep in mind how much we did get. The challenge is to start hearing from people that are reasoned, and pragmatic, rather than simply on the extremes. The president’s accomplishments should have great appeal to progressives as well as moderates considering the accomplishments he had of making college more affordable to stressing green jobs growth. We remind the left that we had to fight every step just to get these things.THR: The Tea Party has pounded President Obama relentlessly and if they have a significant impact on the election, the great concern is that this could push the president to the right?VJ: Our question to the Tea Party has always been we know what you’re against, but what are you for? What would you do differently? They don’t have an answer for that. Simply saying cutting government and spending is no answer. What do they say to and do for people whose jobs and unemployment benefits were saved by actions of this administration? What, that they shouldn’t have those benefits? Are they really will[...]

White House Sr. Advisor Valerie Jarrett on The Hutchinson Report

Thu, 28 Oct 2010 04:47:00 +0000


The Hutchinson Report
October 29, 2010
for Immediate Release

Earl Ofari Hutchinson


Press Advisory:

Exclusive Interview

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett Tells What the Mid-Term Election Means for the Obama Administration and Beyond

Special Two Hour Pre Mid-Term Election Special

In an exclusive interview with the Hutchinson Report Host Earl Ofari Hutchinson, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett tells what’s at stake for the Obama Administration with the mid-term election and beyond the election. Ms. Jarrett discusses President Obama’s strategy for insuring Democratic election successes, how the White House is countering Republican and Tea Party tactics to retake congress, and the major policy issues and initiative that he will stress and push after the elections.

The exclusive interview will air on Saturday, October 30, Noon PST on KPFK-Radio 90.7FM Los Angeles and streamed nationally and globally on It will be televised on The interview with Ms. Jarrett is part of a special two hour Hutchinson Report mid-term election special on KPFK and the Pacifica Radio Network from 11:00 to 1:00 PM PST.

“White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will give an in-depth preview of how and what the White House is doing to retain congressional control and the crucial importance of that to the Obama administration’s agenda, “ says Hutchinson, “This is a rare opportunity to hear first hand what the election means for the Obama Administration and afterwards.

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Mon, 25 Oct 2010 04:26:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonSupreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas can and should be impeached. The case and the grounds for impeachment proceedings against him are virtually iron-clad. The evidence is compelling that Thomas perjured himself in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his court confirmation hearings in 1991. The evidence is equally compelling that this constituted lying under oath to Congress during the hearings. The impeachment case against Thomas is not based on personal or political disagreement over his views, decisions, opinions and rulings on the bench, his penchant for pornographic material, or for sexual harassment. It is based on clear legal and constitutional grounds, precedents, and Congressional mandates. Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly states that a Supreme Court Justice that “lacks good behavior” can be impeached. This is not an ambiguous, subjective term. It has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness as the 'high crimes and misdemeanors" clause that unequivocally mandates that the House of Representatives initiate impeachment proceedings against any public official, or federal judge in violation of that provision. The Constitutional precept is the first legal ground for impeachment proceedings against Thomas. The second is Title 18 of the U.S. Code. It states that any official of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry can be impeached. In other words lying to Congress is not only an impeachable offense. It’s also illegal. It’s also clearly established that a public official whether the president, presidential appointees, or judges can be punished for giving false information and that’s any false information of any nature to the House or Senate. The Nixon impeachment debates and Clinton impeachment hearings were ample proof that the constitutional phrase of “good behavior” embraces not only indictable crimes but “conduct ... grossly incompatible with the office held and subversive of that office and of our constitutional system of government.” Thomas was asked directly by Utah senator Orin Hatch during his confirmation hearings about Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct and whether he used sexually suggestive language. Thomas answered: "I deny each and every single allegation against me today that suggested in any way that I had conversations of a sexual nature or about pornographic material with Anita Hill, that I ever attempted to date her, that I ever had any personal sexual interest in her, or that I in any way ever harassed her. “Thomas was emphatic, "If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it." This was stated under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.Thomas’s sworn testimony was clearly contradicted even then in public statements by witnesses. The witnesses were not called to testify. The one witness that contradicted Thomas’s sworn testimony, Angela Wright, did testify. She worked with Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and was emphatic that[...]

NPR Should Have Booted Williams for His Fraudulent Liberalism

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:51:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonFormer NPR analyst Juan Williams should been canned at NPR for his silly, bigoted crack about Muslims making him nervous. But NPR if it had the ounce of integrity and fairness that it incessantly brags about should have dumped Williams a long time ago for his equally great offense. And that’s his two decade con job as a liberal, civil rights expert and even supporter. Williams never missed a chance to boast about his two decades plus stint with the liberal Washington Post and tout his track record of authoring books on the civil rights movement. Williams sold himself as a man that backed even championed the civil rights struggles of the past and that his sworn mission was to accurately and instructively chronicle that struggle. Here are some of his titles that he used to sell his self-serving title as Mr. Civil Rights sold as Mr., civil rights expert, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965.Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience, I'll Find a Way or Make One : A Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience among others. But Williams was a fraud. That was more than apparent in the clashes that I had with him on Fox when he instantly assumed the requisite attack dog role and jumped all over any criticism made of some of the dumbest inanities from black conservatives. That was a consistent pattern with Williams. Front himself off as a Dr. Jekyll moderate, thoughtful, and balanced commentator that strived for fair and accurate analysis of issues on NPR. And then quickly transform himself into a raving take-no-prisoner right leaning Mr. Hyde on Fox bashing Obama, civil rights leaders, and shilling the GOP line on race. But Williams couldn’t have gotten away with this con job without the wink and nod complicity of NPR, maybe the better word is disingenuousness. NPR officials certainly were not clueless about Williams two faced con. There he was for all to see shaking and nodding his head in agreement with every conservative flack that paraded across the stage on the O’Reilley show and other conservative gab fests on Fox. His confrontational hit style on Fox fit in neatly with the tone, temper and rabid right echo chamber sound box of the network. No, NPR knew exactly what Williams represented and stood for, and it was not balance, moderation, and certainly not liberalism. Williams, though, served a purpose for NPR. The networks has sweated for years and at times have been scared stiff by the conservative hit pack that’s had the network squarely in its sights keeping a hawk like watch for any hint of a “liberal bias.” Williams was there answer, and in some ways there protective cover. After all, how could a guy who routinely flashes across Fox be accused of spouting liberal biased views on NPR? NPR needed Williams far more than he needed them. He was their perfect cover. That is until he became a liability. The hard truth though is that Williams’ phony liberal front was and should have been a liability from the start. The pity is it took an outrageous, bigoted crack by him for NPR to do what it should have done a long time ago. And that’s give him the boot.Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk show on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:[...]

Obama Plays the Race Card, And There’s Nothing Wrong with That

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 16:33:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonPresident Obama will play the race card when he needs to play it. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. He shouted to a crowd at Bowie State University in Maryland not to make him look bad. The pitch to black voters is to get out in November and vote like your life depends on it. That means voting to save a slew of endangered Congressional Democrats. The stakes are well-known. A GOP grab of the House, even without the Senate, will almost certainly mean endless committee investigations of Obama administration actions, funding and appropriation stalls and sabotage, and a relentless no to every Obama initiative from energy to immigration reform. The escalation of congressional wars would be distracting, debilitating, and pose deep danger to Obama’s reelection bid in 2012. Appealing directly to black voters for help is not a desperation move. It’s a smart and necessary political move. Black voters are more than just the underpin of the Democratic Party. They also make up a significant percent of the voters in districts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Alabama, Indiana, and Florida where endangered Democrats are battling insurgent GOP candidates to keep their seats. The strategic placement of black voters made the difference in Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania in 2008 in his White House win. In these states McCain gapped Obama with white blue collar, rural, and older white voters. Black voters filled in the gap. November is no different. Polls show that there is a high interest among black voters in the mid-term election. Apathy and indifference is not as endemic as assumed. But it will take soul stirring and direct appeals to insure that they get to the polls. Obama is the only Democrat that can do it. He’s still wildly popular among blacks. And their anger and fear that his presidency is in danger heightens the sense of urgency to vote. This isn’t the first time Obama has made a racial pitch. During the campaign his candidacy was on the line in the first Democratic presidential primary in January 2008 in South Carolina. Then Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was the front runner. She appeared to have a lock on the black vote in the state where blacks made up nearly half the Democratic voting numbers. A win there and she would have had the wind blowing gale force at her back as she rolled into the other primaries in the South where black voters made up a substantial percent of the Democratic primary voters. Obama quickly dialed up the one African-American with the name recognition, cachet and appeal to stir a racial course correction away from Hillary. That was Oprah. She held two giant campaign rallies complete with the gay bashing, but immensely popular Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. Oprah virtually commanded blacks to do their racial duty and back Obama. It worked and the rest is history.There’s another compelling reason to justify Obama’s politically practical and savvy necessity to use race. The GOP has done it for four decades and is doing it openly and quietly this time around. The shouts, taunts, spitting, catcalls, joker posters, N word slurs, Confederate and Texas Lone Star flag waving by tea party activists at their early rallies, the billboards that crop up along highways and back roads that depict Obama as a communist, terrorist, and racially mocking caricatures, and the recycled racially leaden code words, slogans, and digs have been an indispensable political necessity for the GOP. The GOP could not have been competitive during campaign 2008 without the bail out from w[...]

Condi’s Moving Civil Rights Story Can’t Trump Her Role in Bush’s despicable Iraq folly

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 05:17:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonAn only slightly repentant former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a well-heeled, prestigious conference crowd on the Future of Asia at the Chinese University of Hong Kong last March that she had doubts and misgivings over the way things ultimately turned out in Iraq. If she had it to do all over again she’d press her boss, President Bush, to make a better effort to get the Iraqis more involved in the grunt work of actually rebuilding the war ravaged country. Rice, of course, tactfully left out to two important omissions to the conference crowd. One it was her and the circle of hardnosed war hawks that hectored, badgered, and hammered Bush to launch the war that ravaged the country. A war that is now virtually universally regarded as a failed, flawed, wasteful, and grotesquely unnecessary war. Rice’s second even more damning omission is that to sell the war as indispensable to the war on terrorism she and the hawks distorted, exaggerated facts and events, and flat out lied. But seven years later, with Bush safely gone from the White House, and more than a few fingers happily but wrongly pointing at the Obama administration for Bush’s Iraq misadventure, and Rice safely ensconced back at Stanford University, she can gloss over Iraq, and instead concentrate on painting a compelling and sympathetic picture of herself as a black woman who suffered the sting of racial persecution, bigotry and even the threat of violence to rise to a pivotal political figure. At first glance, the story she tells in her memoir, “Extraordinary, Ordinary People” is extraordinary. She recounts the segregated schools, swimming pools, libraries, and housing, the voting exclusion, and the always ever pervasive threat of physical violence, that was part of the tapestry of 1950s Jim Crow, Bull Conner terrorized Birmingham, Alabama she grew up in. She talks about the strength, perseverance and determination of her parents and their constant push to instill in their sons and daughters the value of education. Education they knew was a surefire ticket out of a self-imposed America’s self-imposed racial trap for blacks. Rice took the message to heart and her personal success story is well-known. She obtained her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974 where she enrolled at the age of 15; her master's degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. And she got her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. Her years as an influential and much sought after international affairs expert and planner which culminated in her pick as Bush’s first National security Advisor and then Secretary of State are just as well-known. These are truly breakthroughs, even pioneering, glass ceiling shattering breakthroughs for a woman of color and can inspire other young women to attain the heights. In any other time, place, and especially with any other administration other than Bush’s, Rice would be hailed and lauded as the political affairs Rosa Parks. She would deservedly be held up as a worthy model of what a black woman with grit and tenacity can do to smash her way out of the suffocating racial and gender boxes. That’s not the case with Rice, though. Mention the name Condoleezza Rice even now and the reaction among Bush bashers and most blacks is still pretty much the same as what it was when singer-activist Harry Belafonte in 2006 blasted her and Colin Powell as “house Negroes.” Belafont[...]

Eddie Long Can Repent By Apologizing for Gay Bashing

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 18:40:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonEmbattled mega church preacher Bishop Eddie Long came as close to confessing his sexual debauchery as any debaucher could come without actually confessing. He cryptically told his singing, shouting, handclapping flock that he wasn’t a perfect man, and that he would face some painful situations. This was a good step forward for Long. He didn’t do the usual soft shoe, duck and dodge around the issue. Or worse, defiantly claim that he was being persecuted for being a pure and righteous man of God. Or even worse still, break out in a teary eyed plea to family and flock for forgiveness. These are the stock ploys that a bevy of celeb preachers, politicians and a Pope snatch at when caught with their sexual hypocrisy exposed. Long didn’t go there. He simply spun his hypocrisy as that of a man engaged in a thoughtful and reflective soul search. Long now should take one more step in his soul search and apologize for his greatest sin. That’s his near decade long, relentless, gay bash. Long didn’t just do what many conservative fundamentalist black preachers do and quietly twist scripture and verse to make the case that God condemns gays to eternal hell and damnation. He actively led crusades against gay marriage, and by extension gays, railed against them on his websites, in fiery sermons, loudly backed George W. Bush's federal amendment banning gay marriage, and led a slanderous march to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s gravesite to denounce gay marriage. Each new accusation that Long used his youth training academy as a cover to procure kid sex, may ultimately prove him to be not just a hypocrite, but a full blown sexual predator.Long then should issue a statement, better still do what he does best, and deliver a sermon on tolerance. That’s tolerance toward all those who have a different sexual preference. He should invite the leaders of the nation’s top gay rights organizations to take a front row seat at his church and look them square in the eye, as he preaches his sermon on tolerance. He should then make it plain to his mostly black congregation that he does not want them to mindlessly and blindly shout “Jesus Jesus” and “it’s time to praise him,” and sang hymns such as “white as snow” as they did when he made his kind of sort of admission of guilt from the pulpit. This reinforces the despicable notion that blacks are narrow, bigoted, and brain dead zombies who will give a pass to even the most blatant and outrageous criminal and sexual behavior and exploitation as long as it’s done in the name of Jesus and the offender is black. Afterwards, Long should announce in tandem with gay organization leaders that New Birth Missionary Baptist Church will set up a new academy dedicated to the principle and practice of tolerance. He took a light step in that direction some time back when at the prodding of Soulforce, a gay Christian advocacy group, he played at having a dialogue on his attitudes toward gays. That didn’t go very far. This time it should.Long set the standard of bigotry and bias for a new generation of conservative fundamentalist mega black churchmen on gay rights. An apology and outreach won’t undo that. It can though be a step toward his personal repentance. God, I’m sure, would approve.Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk show on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:[...]

Bishop Eddie Long: Victim, Hypocrite or Both in Sex Scandal?

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 15:45:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonThere mega-church black minister Bishop Eddie Long was in January 2004 with the Rev. Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in tow, leading a spirited march of thousands to the Atlanta gravesite of Dr. King. Long and the demonstrators marched to denounce gay marriage. The choice of King’s site to make the hell fire and damnation point that gay marriage was sinful, degenerate, and against every Biblical precept was painful and insulting to see. The not so subtle implication was that King might well have stood with her and them in their gay bashing protest. Given King’s relentless and uncompromising battle against discrimination during his life, this was beyond pure poppycock; it was well, insulting and painful to see. But even though Long sullied King's name and legacy to torpedo gay rights, the Bishop seemingly was not a hypocrite when it came to denouncing gays. He was one of the biggest, best known, and virulent black evangelical attackers of gay marriage. Long had prominently touted then President George W. Bush's federal amendment banning gay marriage on his church Web site. Long’s anti-gay phobia was so virulent that then NAACP president Julian Bond publicly declared he would not attend the funeral service of Coretta Scott King at Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Why, because as Bond flatly said "I knew her attitude toward gay and lesbian rights. And I just couldn't imagine that she'd want to be in that church with a minister who was a raving homophobe. He obviously couldn’t see himself there either. For a brief moment, Long seemed to relent some from his sledgehammer bible quoting attacks on gays when he agreed to meet with Soulforce, a gay Christian lobby organization, at his church in 2008. Long’s epiphany went no further than the one meeting and a pithy statement from him that there were “things about homosexuality that he needs to learn”The question then is the accusations from the lengthening list of teen and young male adults who claim that Long bought and paid for their sexual favors true? They may well be phony as a nine dollar bill, a shakedown, or a dirty put up job to smear a prominent black minister that many blacks regard as a leader and advocate. But even if that turns out to be the case, there’s another more compelling question. Did Long’s long, open and relentless crusade against homosexuals tag he and many other anti-gay prominent black church leaders as narrow, bigoted, and hypocritical in championing the very discrimination that King and the civil rights movement waged a titanic battle against?A big warning sign that the gay rights issue would inflame, polarize, and even energize blacks within and without the black pulpit came in 1997 when the Green Bay Packers perennial all-pro defensive end Reggie White, an ordained minister, touched off a firestorm of protest from gay groups with a rambling, hour- long talk to the Wisconsin legislature in which he took a huge swipe at gay rights and gay marriage. He later barnstormed through several Mid-Western cities pushing the anti-gay gospel at pro-family rallies.Before his untimely death in 2005, White apologized for his anti-gay remarks, but he was unrepentant in his view about homosexuality. He was a conservative black minister and homosexuality, as with Long, still violated his biblical conception of the proper roles for men and women. In defying the canons of political correctness, White became the first celebrity [...]

Rethinking Palin

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 15:53:00 +0000

Earl Ofari HutchinsonIt's time to rethink Sarah Palin. From the moment that Republican presidential candidate John McCain plopped her on his ticket, the supreme article of political faith from all pundits, much of the press, most Democrats, and the GOP establishment has been that Sarah Palin is a laughingstock, a sideshow diversion, an ignoramus on the issues, a gossip and celebrity starved media creation, and, of course, a closet race tinged crowd baiter. The Palin allure is built squarely on elements of these features. But what's now painfully obvious, is the allure has turned Palin into a political force, threat, and danger. The millions of Palin loathers gag at the thought of this. But her string of victories by candidates she endorsed in the primaries, and a flip-flop in some polls that now show more people than not say that she should run, and a more than a few say that she should win, have radically changed the game. The tough to swallow truth is that she has greater national political name recognition than any other Republican and that includes her former ticket head, McCain. She energizes and rallies conservatives, and polls say more Americans self-identify themselves as conservatives than liberals, let alone progressives. Palin's motherly, family-values, fundamentalist pitch fascinates even those who personally detest her message. This includes much of the Palin obsessed media. Her political ineptness, naiveté smacks of a bumbling political innocence that far from being a liability endears her to throngs. This makes her the hot ticket item she is on the media and lecture circuit. It also now has more GOP candidates and some incumbents begging her and her Tea Party pals to troop through their neck of the woods and say a word of praise on their behalf. GOP regulars and political pundits still shrug her off as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012. And she's still a favored running joke of late night comics. But this has endeared her to many as a scorned mother non-politician. That serves to keep her public stock and appeal high. The Christine O'Donnell and Joe Miller GOP senate primary victories in Delaware and Alaska sent her stock through the ceiling. Palin exploits another feeling that GOP mainstream politicians have been inept, clumsy, or gun shy about exploiting. And that's race and Obama. During the campaign McCain wisely declared that off-limits. But Palin didn't. She quickly trotted out the GOP's old reliable playbook of racially tinged code words, phrases, and digs at Obama, "paling around with terrorists," and "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America." Far from turning voter's heads in disgust and revulsion at the word play, they got rousing cheers whenever she spewed them out on the campaign stump. That sent the signal that there were millions of voters who would never accept an Obama presidency, no matter what he said, or did, and no matter how well he said or did it. They just simply could not stomach the idea of a black man in the White House, and they would go to any lengths to get him out of there. But to make the counter assault on Obama work, it would take a media savvy and manipulative, galvanizing figurehead to rev up the crowds, and a vehicle to organize them once they were revved up. Palin and the Tea Party were the manna from above to try and accomplish that. Even while the much of the press and the pundits continued to bash her harder than any GOP candidat[...]

Farrakhan Endorsement Makes Ground Zero Mosque Backers Squirm

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 21:27:00 +0000

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is the latest to weigh in on the great Ground Zero mosque debate. Predictably, Farrakhan gave fulsome backing to building the mosque at the controversial spot. But Farrakhan took it a step further and just as predictably gave it a racial spin. He said that there are a lot of blacks who are Muslims, and some of them were killed in the 9/11 terror attack. Farrakhan, race, and controversy; the three go hand in hand. That’s always enough to make folk squirm.
In the days building up to the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the question is how just much will Farrakhan’s public tout of the mosque, make some of the mosque’s fervent backers squirm? Probably not a lot since the battle lines on the mosque are pretty firmly drawn. You’re either for it on religious freedom, tolerance, or constitutional grounds. Or you’re against it on desecration of hallowed soil, insensitivity, or it’s a deliberate provocation grounds.
Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose it for one or all of the reasons cited. The mosque is a religious and political minefield. It was inevitable that Farrakhan would plunge into it. He has that right.
But Farrakhan is instant controversy, and even more instant racial polarization. That was never more evident than during the 2008 presidential campaign. Days after then Democratic presidential contender Obama announced his candidacy, Farrakhan praised and virtually endorsed him in a speech at the Nation of Islam’s annual Savior's Day confab in Chicago. A horrified Team Obama promptly issued this statement: Senator Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support." That didn’t satisfy his primary foe Hillary Clinton. She publicly demanded that he forcefully reject Farrakhan's endorsement. Obama did but even then he carefully avoided mentioning Farrakhan by name. It was just too hot. Obama recognized one compelling fact about Farrakhan. He may be a controversial and much vilified figure but he is not a fringe figure within black communities. He is still cheered and admired by thousands of blacks. They are also voters too and most embraced Obama with almost messianic zeal.
Mosque supporters can now count Farrakhan among their ranks. In this mid-term political season that shapes up to be the most hard fought one in decades, the mosque issue is an issue that’s one of the most inflammatory. It pricks, inflames, and punches just about every person’s hot button. It’s almost certain that one or more shrill rightwing websites, bloggers, or radio talk show hacks that froth at building the mosque at the WTC site will throw up Farrakhan’s name as see-I-told-you proof that the mosque is a closet Jihadist conspiracy against the US. That’s enough to make some squirm.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk show on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.
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Farrakhan Endorsement Makes Ground Zero Mosque Backers Squirm

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 21:27:00 +0000

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is the latest to weigh in on the great Ground Zero mosque debate. Predictably, Farrakhan gave fulsome backing to building the mosque at the controversial spot. But Farrakhan took it a step further and just as predictably gave it a racial spin. He said that there are a lot of blacks who are Muslims, and some of them were killed in the 9/11 terror attack. Farrakhan, race, and controversy; the three go hand in hand. That’s always enough to make folk squirm.
In the days building up to the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the question is how just much will Farrakhan’s public tout of the mosque, make some of the mosque’s fervent backers squirm? Probably not a lot since the battle lines on the mosque are pretty firmly drawn. You’re either for it on religious freedom, tolerance, or constitutional grounds. Or you’re against it on desecration of hallowed soil, insensitivity, or it’s a deliberate provocation grounds.
Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose it for one or all of the reasons cited. The mosque is a religious and political minefield. It was inevitable that Farrakhan would plunge into it. He has that right.
But Farrakhan is instant controversy, and even more instant racial polarization. That was never more evident than during the 2008 presidential campaign. Days after then Democratic presidential contender Obama announced his candidacy, Farrakhan praised and virtually endorsed him in a speech at the Nation of Islam’s annual Savior's Day confab in Chicago. A horrified Team Obama promptly issued this statement: Senator Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support." That didn’t satisfy his primary foe Hillary Clinton. She publicly demanded that he forcefully reject Farrakhan's endorsement. Obama did but even then he carefully avoided mentioning Farrakhan by name. It was just too hot. Obama recognized one compelling fact about Farrakhan. He may be a controversial and much vilified figure but he is not a fringe figure within black communities. He is still cheered and admired by thousands of blacks. They are also voters too and most embraced Obama with almost messianic zeal.
Mosque supporters can now count Farrakhan among their ranks. In this mid-term political season that shapes up to be the most hard fought one in decades, the mosque issue is an issue that’s one of the most inflammatory. It pricks, inflames, and punches just about every person’s hot button. It’s almost certain that one or more shrill rightwing websites, bloggers, or radio talk show hacks that froth at building the mosque at the WTC site will throw up Farrakhan’s name as see-I-told-you proof that the mosque is a closet Jihadist conspiracy against the US. That’s enough to make some squirm.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk show on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.
Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: