January 16, 2008

Why Obama's church matters

Obama has made a big deal over the years out of his being a churchgoer rather than the ultra-educated agnostic he looks like -- it's crucial to his viability as a candidate for President. But that naturally raises questions about what kind of church he picked out for himself 21 years ago.

After all, an enormous amount of talk has been devoted to, say, Mitt Romney and his church, even though Romney was born into being a Mormon. In contrast, Obama knew dozens of Chicago pastors through his ethnic organizing job, but, when he figured out that he had to belong to a church to have an effective political future on the South Side, he shopped around and chose Rev. Wright's church.

It's not exactly a secret that Obama's Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. is a radical leftist black racialist. After all, Rev. Wright went with Louis Farrakhan to Libya to meet Col. Gadaffi in 1984, and just last November Wright gave his Lifetime Achievement award to Farrakhan at a big gala at the Chicago Hyatt Regency.

Wright calls his stance "black liberation theology" and relates it to Nicaraguan Marxist liberation theology. But I doubt if 2% of the voters know that. The media haven't been in any hurry to alert the voters, perhaps because Obama's supporters have tried to brand the Scarlet R on anyone who mentions anything about Obama other than that he will bring us together to bring about change. (Just as there has been more coverage of Romney's great-grandfather's polygamy than of Obama's father's polygamy, even though Obama has emphasized his family background so heavily to get nice white people to make nice assumptions about how nice it must have been for Obama to come from a nice mixed race home, even though, in fact, his parents' bigamous marriage was a short-lived disaster that traumatized him psychologically for decades.)

Furthermore, reading Obama's account in his autobiography (for an overall analysis of Obama's 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, see my American Conservative article "Obama's Identity Crisis"), it's evident that Obama's concern was not whether Wright was, say, the far left blowhard that he appears to be, but whether Wright's church was leftist enough for Obama. Or was it too bourgeois for Obama? (Not that the preppie from paradise has a non-bourgeois bone in his body, but he was against the bourgeoisie in theory.)

Obama's early relationship with Wright is the main theme of pages 274-295 of Obama's memoirs. Obama recounts his first encounter with Wright's Trinity Church's "Black Value System:"

"A sensible, heartfelt list ... There was one particular passage in Trinity's brochure that stood out, though, a commandment more self-conscious in its tone, requiring greater elaboration. 'A Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness,' the heading read. 'While it is permissible to chase 'middleincomeness' will all our might,' the text stated, those blessed with the talent or good fortunes to achieve success in the American mainstream must avoid the 'psychological entrapment of Black "middleclassness" that hypnotizes the successful brother or sister into believing they are better than the rest and teaches them to think in terms of "we" and "they" instead of "US."'"

"My thoughts would often return to that declaration in the weeks that followed ..."

When the Ivy Leaguer meets Wright, he interrogates Wright about whether his church isn't secretly too middle class for him:

"'Some people say,' I interrupted, 'that the church is too upwardly mobile.'

"The reverend's smile faded. 'That's a lot of bull,' he said sharply...

"Still, I couldn't help wondering ... Would the interest in maintaining such unity [between the black classes] allow Reverend Wright to take a forceful stand on the latest proposals to reform public housing. And if men like Reverend Wright failed to take a stand, if churches like Trinity refused to engage with real power and risk genuine conflict, then what chance would there be of holding the larger community intact."

In other words, Obama is wondering, in effect, whether Wright can help him reconcile his black racialism with his vaguely Marxist class-strife ideology. See, the "problem," as Obama saw it in 1987 (and in 1995 when he wrote his autobiography) is that some blacks are getting ahead in the America, which lessens racial solidarity among blacks, and raises contradictions between racialism and socialism, both of which the young Obama wants to believe in. Fortunately, Wright's powerful sermon "The Audacity of Hope" --
"It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere ...

-- overcomes Obama's doubts about covert middleclassness and he is accepted into the bosom of this authentically anti-middleclassness racialist church.

Now, it's possible that if anybody were to ask Obama about all this, he might say,
"Yeah, I was young and stupid back then, and maybe not quite right in the head. These days, I'm not into black racialism and anti-middleclassness. After black voters broke my heart by rejecting me in 2000, I came to accept that I'm half white and all middle class. And I'm not lonely anymore, so I'm not so hung up on why Daddy and Mommy didn't want to be around me, which means I'm no longer such a sucker for father figures like Rev. Wright.

I just stick with his church because, while it's embarrassing to be associated with it, it would be politically even more embarrassing to leave it. I just hope it all blows over. But if that bastard keeps trying to stab me in the back for dumping him from speaking at my Springfield kickoff rally by giving the "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award" to maniacs like Farrakhan -- Who's he going to give the next one to? The Beltway Snipers? -- I will have to do a Sister Souljah on his ass."

Or, then again, maybe not.

But, the crucial point is, nobody has dared press Obama on it. Because, as everybody knows, wanting to understand the man who would be President would be racist. We must just take his faith on faith.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

“But that naturally raises questions about what kind of church he picked out for himself 21 years ago.”

Bingo. There’s a big difference between being born into something (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and choosing a faith, or a church.

This is great stuff Steve. You are doing exactly what the MSM isn’t doing – examining a candidate the way he should be, before an election.

Unfortunately you’ve been branded with the Scarlet “R” so long that no one will admit to reading you, or that you are right.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: It's not exactly a secret that Obama's Rev. Wright is a radical leftist black racialist. Wright calls his stance "black liberation theology" and relates it to Nicaraguan Marxist liberation theology. But I doubt if 2% of the voters know that.

Given that the USA has about 300M people, 2% = 6 million.

I'd be surprised if 2% of the 10,000 or so folks who post at Free Republic know anything about Obama's "pastor".

That was the great lesson we learned in the Clinton years [after we learned it in the Kennedy years, and, before that, in the Walter Duranty years, etc etc etc]: If a tree falls in the forest, and if the press refuses to report that the tree has fallen, then the tree might as well not have fallen in the first place.

If Hillary refuses to broach the topic, and if Obama wraps up the nomination by, say, February 5, then it's going to take an enormous amount of independent expenditures to get the word out, because I doubt that an effete, painty-waist, country-clubber, like Mitt "Jesus and Satan are Brothers" Romney, would have the gonads to attack Obama on the issue.

Anonymous said...

You’re turning iSteve into something of a crazy anti-Obama website. Five anti-Obama posts in 2 days? Previous tenuous claims regarding Kenya? Most of these seem fallacious “guilt by tertiary association” (Wright’s daughter’s actions) or “guilt by no association at all” (some Kenyon rebel claiming a bloodline) attacks.

You’ve raised legitimate concerns regarding Obama’s church’s Rev. Wright and potential anti-White, anti-middleclass issues he may have. But please substantiate them with hard facts or real actions that can be directly attributable to Obama himself. While in office he must’ve done or voted in someway to substantiate your claims if he is really as messed up as you say.

After the debate last night, I think Obama is the best Dem candidate. He did a better job than others in logically drilling down on specifics to address the “all hat, no horse” attacks. Hillary is a 100% establishment neocon pawn and would just be 4 more years of a Bush-lite presidency (24yrs of the Bush-Clinton dynasty is too much nepotistic corruption for me thank you).

AMac said...

Comment #3 left at the Baltimore Sun's web site, for the 1/16/08 Page 1 article Obama's Spiritual Mentor --

Reporter Michael Hill has written a hard-hitting analysis piece that presents all the facts in context.

For instance, I hadn't realized that it is Rev. Wright's daughter Jeri who is the editor of Trumpet magazine, and who joined Rev. Wright in presenting Louis Farrakhan with their "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award" last November.

Before reading the article, I didn't know that it's not just Farrakhan--that Wright built his church on a racialist, "anti-middleclassness" ideology.

As Hill points out, this presents Obama with an unpalatable choice: reject Wright and alienate his black base, or continue supporting him at the risk of antagonizing moderate whites.

At least--I think I learned these things from this Page 1A article in today's Baltimore Sun, and not thanks to some obscure blogger.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

"Wright calls his stance "black liberation theology" and relates it to Nicaraguan Marxist liberation theology."

Since I'm ever on the lookout for evidence that a church follows the Social Gospel, this leapt out at me, sort of Islamic terrorist Social Gospel. I got chills.

"Who's he going to give the next one to? The Beltway Snipers? -- I will have to do a Sister Souljah on his high-yaller ass."

Your Obama dialogue or monologue rather. OK it made me feel much better but don't you think you've gone too far this time, Steve? : 0)

Anonymous said...

The real question is who would be less odious as the Democratic nominee and, currently, odds on favorite to be president, Hillary or Obama? I’m unconvinced that a conceited angry sleazebag from the increasingly corrupt Bush-Clinton royal family would be better than Obama.

Whether Obama joined this Afro-centric church to bamboozle the locals and build a strong constituency as politicians do or if he believes it, he’s certainly seems to have avoided displaying any radical tendencies during his decade+ in state and federal office.

Religious conservatives can be nutty everywhere yet many of them do a decent job in public office despite their private beliefs. Christians think non-Christians burn in hell for eternity. Muslims think God wants them to conquer, enslave and forcibly convert infidels. Jews believe the non-Chosen are not even spiritually fully human. We all need our personal beliefs to get us through the day, build community, etc.

I say support anyone but Rudy, Hillary or McCain as they would all be Bush III neocon disasters with Rudy the worst – 4 more years of death, destruction, debt and economic decline.

Anonymous said...

The media haven't been in any hurry to alert the voters [about Obama's radical church].

And that's a bad thing? Obama right now has a good shot at winning the nomination. Say he wins it. Then it becomes widely known. Is that bad for the GOP's chances?

The only problem I see with it is that Mitt Romney's ham-handed attempt to deflect assaults on his own religion has put Obama's religion (which is more radical now) beyond criticism. But if Romney's the nominee his religion will be attacked anyway. Southerners, with whom Romney has the biggest issues regarding his faith, are all too aware of radical racist black preachers. So that could actually help Romney in the general (if he's the nominee).

those blessed with the talent or good fortunes to achieve success in the American mainstream must avoid the 'psychological entrapment of Black "middleclassness" that hypnotizes the successful brother or sister into believing they are better than the rest and teaches them to think in terms of "we" and "they" instead of "US."

In other words a replication of exactly the same problem that Africa has already - successful individuals required to support everyone up to their third cousin twice removed. What wonders it has worked for Africa.

Ron Guhname said...

Why in the world would anyone want for a President a man that the MSM refuses to criticize?

Anonymous said...

“guilt by tertiary association” (Wright’s daughter’s actions)

Bzzzt! Talking point alert!

Obama's campaign seems to have decided on an official policy of treating Wright's daughter's involvement in the article as more important than Wright's own direct quote in the article.

As strategies go, it's tiresomely dumb.

Unknown said...

If Obama becomes the Dem nominee, Romney (or whoever) wouldn't have to criticize him directly. Leave that to the 527s.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would anyone want for a President a man that the MSM refuses to criticize?

Does that also apply to Ron Paul?

OK, it's more a matter of the MSM blacking out -- pardon the expression -- the fact that R.P. has beaten Rudy G. in every primary thus far.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Christians think non-Christians burn in hell for eternity.

That's simply not true.

Jesus's exact quote was: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

He never said what would happen to people who do not "cometh unto the Father".

Mike said...

As a long-time reader of your blog, I'm sometimes puzzled by exactly what religion means to Steve Sailer. Mostly I figure that's Steve Sailer's business. But with this angle on Obama's religion things get more complicated. You're not a public figure and Obama is running for most-public-figure, so it's not obviously uncalled for to poke and prod in ways that would be personally uncomfortable if things were turned around. And as you imply, if something isn't as it seems with Obama's faith, it would be of interest to lots of voters. But comments like "the ultra-educated agnostic he looks like ... We must just take his faith on faith" make my curiosity itch about your personal views on what presidential faith should be.

Anonymous said...


Looks llike the MSM is still in the tank for Obama, as that article is a clear case of "praising with faint damns." It covers the one sermon, but not a whole lot of the other, crazier stuff Wright's said that we know about already.

I'm hoping that the attention now being paid to Wright will yield a treasure trove of truly loopy remarks from his past.

Anonymous said...

Think this through. By ignoring Hillary and incessantly attacking Obama Steve supports Hillary?

How many of you really think Hillary would be better than Obama?

The major differences I see between is that Hillary is basically the neocon sequel Bush III. Hillary is even more dangerous given that she is brighter, harder working and angrier than GW.

Steve Sailer said...

No, I write about Obama more than Hillary because I have a comparative advantage in Obama expertise, having read his autobiography and knowing a lot about the subjects that obsess him, and being foolhardy enough to explain frankly what I've found. In contrast, lots of people know far more about Hillary than I do. Plus, I just find Obama a more interesting person to think about than Hillary, who has long bored me.

Anonymous said...

"Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them."
-- Mary Frances Berry, (former) Chairwoman, US Commission on Civil Rights

Anonymous said...


The Christian “religious conservatives” I specified indeed generally hold the view that one goes to hell if they don’t accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

The Bible, particularly the distinctive Christian New Testament, may have quotes that are not specific about the consequences. However, the majority of Christian religious conservatives seem pretty much in agreement on some form of Hell in store for those that reject Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I usually find the most intelligent people to be the most interesting, but of course, not always.

My brother, who is so afraid of Democrats and pro-choice politicians so much, obsesses with them, but I find what goes on on the other side mostly boring especially when there is not much depth to them as is the case this year. If I had been old enough at the time, I'm sure I would have both loathed and admired Clinton.

Steve, is there anybody in this race who comes close in I.Q. to Romney?

Anonymous said...

Wright calls his stance "black liberation theology" and relates it to Nicaraguan Marxist liberation theology.

For those who care, let it be noted that Father Sobrino, originator of much of "liberation theology," has recently been the recipient of an official smackdown.

Anonymous said...

Liberation theology and the Christian left are clearly more of a threat to civic order and good government than any other religious beliefs professed by any of the other major candidates. For heaven's sake, none of the other candidates are religiously obligated to redistribute wealth and destroy property rights. I think all of you dismissing the threat and questioning Mr. Sailer's focus on Obama don't really understand what liberation theology is. It's Communism, people. Sharia would be preferable.

TGGP said...

I don't think Obama's church matters but I was dumb-founded by the idea that a church could be "too upwardly-mobile"! I thought that was a good thing! Would it be desirable for a church to be downwardly-mobile? I know the Catholic church has said the suffering of the poor is holy, but this is just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere ..."

Does not sound like something TD Jakes would say.

Are there no TD Jakes in Chicago?

Anonymous said...

A question for Steve: You seem quite focussed on Obama, if not obsessed. Why? Do you want him to win? Or not? If not, who would you choose to be prez? I'm guessing the Sailer endorsement is for Paul.

Steve Sailer said...

As I've said, I've focused on Obama rather than the myriad other candidates because I have a comparative advantages over my competition in writing about a man who has roughly a 1/4th chance of being elected President in November:

1. I actually read his autobiography all the way through.

2. I've thought hard for many years about the same questions of "race and inheritance" that obsess Obama, so we're on the same wavelength.

3. I'm not intimidated in reporting about Obama for fear of the Scarlet R.

And then I have a personal reason: Obama is a smart guy with a felicitous prose style, so he's more interesting to me than most of the other candidates. It's kind of like how English political history has its attractions over American political history -- Canning, Wellington, Disraeli Salisbury, Balfour, Churchill and so forth were better writers and talkers than all but a few American politicians. I spent some time researching Bill Richardson's 3/4th Mexican 1/4th WASP background, which is objectively interesting, perhaps more interesting than Obama's, but the man himself is pretty boring, so I didn't pursue it past one long posting on Richardson.

And what's my high-minded hope -- well, my hope is that I help inform the electorate better about one of the major candidates, so they can make a more informed decision. Likewise, I hope that other writers can help inform the electorate better about the other candidates, but, realistically, I don't see how I could contribute much that was original and ueful to understanding of, say, Hillary Clinton.

Anonymous said...

I believe people are at their best when they talk about something their passionate about, so I don't mind you talking about Obama and I've learned a lot even if I find it boring at times.

BTW, whenever I talk to people about something you've said on this site and want to provide credentials in a sentence or two, I usually say something along the lines of, "figured out the I.Q.s of Kerry and Bush and found that Bush just edged out Kerry" or "made news by figuring out I.Q.s of Bush and Kerry and that Bush was smarter" and so on.
It never fails to impress. You and Lawrence Auster usually have penetrating insight into these folks.

You have a duty to this country. Not another journalist will wonder about the intelligence of these men...

Btw, do you think there is any substance to Nixon's belief that Fred Thompson was dumb? My husband's reaction to this was that Nixon was extremely intelligent and would himself be a good judge of such things.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting about Fred Thompson, read the whole thing:

In this May 1973 recording, he (Nixon) shared his concern with then-chief of staff Alexander Haig.

“He’s talking to Fred Thompson. I said you’re not –,” Haig begins.

“Oh sh–, he’s dumb as hell. Fred Thompson,” Nixon interjects. “Who is he? He won’t say anything.”

In another conversation some weeks later, Nixon and his advisers were still describing Thompson as not very smart but at least beginning to play ball.

“Our approach is now, we’ve got a pretty good rapport with Fred Thompson. He came through fine for us this morning,” White House counsel Fred Buzhardt says on a tape from June 6.

“He isn’t very smart, is he?” Nixon asks.

“Not extremely so, but –,” Buzhardt says, interrupted by the president.

“But he’s friendly,” Nixon says.

“But he’s, he’s friendly,” Buzhardt echoes.


A few days later, White House aides are heard saying Thompson will be even more helpful than his boss, Sen. Baker, and that Thompson agreed to secretly help undercut the credibility of White House whistleblower John Dean.

“They’ve finally got [Dean] under oath,” Buzhardt says on a tape from June 11. “Uh, Thompson will work with us. So, good.”

“Does he realize that Dean has some problems?” Nixon asks.

“Oh, yes sir,” Buhardt responds. “Quite a few…He is willing to work with us; he is also now willing to work with us on shifting some focus to the Democrats. He’s finally made up his mind; he’s got to start looking at some of their stuff.”

Later in the tape, Buzhardt says, “[Thompson is] willing to go, you know, pretty much the distance now. And he said he realized his responsibility was going to have to be as a Republican increasingly.”

In his memoir of the Watergate era, Thompson admits to secretly alerting the White House to key evidence as it was discovered by congressional investigators.

Former Watergate committee investigator Scott Armstrong told ABC News that Thompson’s cooperation with the White House undermined the investigation.

“It was the equivalent of two prosecutors knowing about something and one of them going behind the scenes and telling the person being accused what the witnesses were saying about him,” Armstrong said.

Two months after Buzhardt’s comments, Nixon resigned. Thompson would later take credit for helping to reveal the secret White House taping system that led to Nixon’s downfall.

Steve Sailer said...

I don't know much about Fred Thompson. It strikes me that he has forged a pretty nice life for himself, shuttling back and forth between being a semi-movie star with lots of hot starlet babe action and being a Senator and Presidential candidate. If he's really as lazy as he is said to be, he's got to be pretty cunning to get all that.

Anonymous said...


Please. What Whites think about Obama's Church and Black Racial preacher is nothing. Rich White Yuppies will find it cool. Those who won't like it wouldn't vote for him anyway.

Who it will matter to: Mexicans. Who will have problems anyway. They're not Black either.

Stick a fork in Obama. He's done.

Anonymous said...

I am assuming that Hillary, not Obama, will be the democrats nominee. However, it occurred to me that Obama's candidacy could actually torpedo Hillary's chances, and - miraculously - allow the republicans to keep the whitehouse (which they really don't deserve, but neither do the democrats).

Here's how it goes: A black candidate makes a serious, well-publicized run, and energizes the black electorate. However, when he fails to gain the nomination, blacks are pissed off - especially at whoever defeated him, and stay home in larger than usual numbers on the day of the general election - moreso than they would have had NO black candidate been running. With unusually low turnout in that solidly democratic bloc, the democratic nominee loses.

Ronald Reagan won pretty decisively in 1984 (the year that Jesse Jackson first ran in the democratic primary). Is there any evidence that black turnout was unusually low that year? Of course, Reagan was pretty popular with a lot of Americans, and Mondale had all the charisma of a Soviet Minister for Tractor Production.

And Douglas Wilders' campaign in 1992 didn't really light any fires, and still Clinton won.

If true however, it would be paradoxical - a black candidate actually serving to suppress black voter turnout.

Anonymous said...

Up here in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, we're a year ahead of the rest of you regarding the election of almost-black politicians.

Our governor is Deval Patrick, former highly-compensated token at Ameriquest Mortgage and Coca-Cola (2 companies that concentrate on killing the black community). Like Obama, he hails from Chicago, and was plucked from his South Side roots by nice white folk and placed in prep school here. Harvard and Harvard Law followed, and he was a member of the Clinton Justice Department civil rights division.

He won the governor's race by appealing to the same base as Obama--moonbat white women from the upscale Boston suburbs. The comment about Obama being the cool black friend fits Patrick to a tee (though, arguably, neither has been "black" since their teens), and with a weak Republican candidate (Romney's lieutenant gov.) he won the corner office with few ideas other than the slogan "Together We Can", the original catchphrase stolen by Obama with one word changed. In his year in office, he's managed to do NOTHING, never mind making good on his canpaign promises of hiring 1,000 more cops and reducing property taxes. He hasn't even been able to get our 80% Democrat state legislature on board for his "change" agenda. His latest gig as Obama's state chair has kept him busy, much to the Boston (Pravda) Globe's dismay and the average citizen's delight, though it hasn't stopped him from proposing to try and bypass the legislature and issue an executive order allowing in-state tuition at state colleges for illegal aliens.

What makes them so alike, other than the fact that neither has any real, workable ideas, is the fact that their true believers are engaged in some sort of jihad to out anyone not supporting them as being a racist. I sat in a local coffee shop 2 weeks before the election and listened to one of my alderman (of course, a 50-something white woman) castigate the mayor because he backed another Democrat (our attorney general) and because of this was not to be trusted because it HAD to be due to the fact that Patrick was black.

All I can say is be afraid...

Johnson said...

On O'Reilly factor last night, Bill said that he plans to do some investigation into the crazy pastor of Obama's church. I'm VERY interested to see what he finds.

Anonymous said...

Steve, is there anybody in this race who comes close in I.Q. to Romney?

Dr. Ron Paul.

Anonymous said...

You're not a public figure and Obama is running for most-public-figure, so it's not obviously uncalled for to poke and prod in ways that would be personally uncomfortable if things were turned around.

Translation: I guess it's technically acceptable for a citizen to investigate and question one of his would-be rulers, but I don't like it!

as you imply, if something isn't as it seems with Obama's faith, it would be of interest to lots of voters.[...] my curiosity itch[es] about your personal views on what presidential faith should be.

He told you. It shouldn't be Black Liberation Theology. Reading comprehension: F. ("Imply"?)

Do you like Obama's faith, the relevant distinction of which consists of hating whites as a matter of religious conviction? More than one religion does so; any but those in my would-be ruler is fine with me. (I am white.)

Anonymous said...

I've followed the presidential race. I've never heard about Romney's ancestor.

But there has been coverage of Obama's father. It's not a promenient story but something mentioned in passing.

I think this observation of yours shows a clouding bias. You are making stuff up to get to point B.

Anonymous said...

coeur d' said:

You are making stuff up

Like what?

You're making stuff up about my hero.


Say, coeur d’: Is it "made up" that for decades now Obama's spiritual adviser is a religious ringer for a Black Nationalist? Or maybe it's not important? Then Ron Paul's ghostwriters and what they believe aren't important. Ah, but would you say that?

Many would. Consistency be damned! As a black woman in a managerial position menacingly explained to me once: "There is no such thing as justice. There's only JUST US." In other words, raw power is all that counts.

I would have gone with "it depends on whose ox is gored," but it sounded dog-whistley somehow.

Steve Sailer said...

Couer d' asserts:

"You are making stuff up ..." about the media mentioning more that Romney's great-grandfather was polygamous than that Obama's father was polygamous.

Go to Google News and search for

Obama polygamy

I get 14 hits.

Then search for

Romney polygamy

I get 130 hits.

Mike said...


If I meant to say something I'd say it. Don't put words in my mouth. Or Steve's or Obama's, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

You are making stuff up.

Romney wins the Google count but have you bothered to check the results?

Result 1: "Christmas card from former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney extolling polygamy."

Result 2: "He has reiterated his support for constitutional amendments to ban abortion and same-sex marriage -- which he told the Web site Beliefnet.com could open the door to polygamy, pedophilia and bestiality."

Result 3: "Some Mormons are frustrated by persistent misconceptions and stereotypes — for example, that all Mormons are polygamists (The Mormon Church renounced polygamy in 1890) or have horns."

Result 4: "raising questions about old Mormon stereotypes -- like polygamy -- and theology that separates Latter-day Saints from mainline Christians."

Result 5: "even Mormons themselves don't know what the Mormons next door are doing (polygamy, in the case of the TV show)."

These were not cherry picked. These are the FIRST FIVE.

None of the first five results for Obama mention his father's polygamy. However, I have often read about it in any extended Obama profile.

You are plain wrong about the media making any issue about Romney's ancestor. It's invisible. You now just imagine media bias to confirm your own worldview.

Anonymous said...

Steve, is there anybody in this race who comes close in I.Q. to Romney?

Steve, do you have a link to a good or even halfway decent estimate of the I.Q.s of Presidents in recent history?

I do remember a list published by some liberals in 2004 that I took with a boulder of salt, but which if believable indicated a negative correlation between I.Q. and success [I do R & D separately rather to separate the question of political skill from whether I like their ideology]:

Truman: Pretty well respected by history.
Clinton: some policy successes, loss of power for his party, impeached but not convicted.
Carter the supposed "nuclear engineer": disaster

Reagan: Lots of policy successes, won the Cold War.
Eisenhower: 8 years of peace & prosperity
GWB: Not enough pespective yet.
GWHB: Pissed off his base with tax increases & an unfinished war, voted out of office
Nixon: Wage & price controls, got himself impeached.

Maybe the presidency is one of those jobs where if you're too intelligent you tend to overthink things & mess with stuff better left alone.

Or maybe it's not intelligence per se, but rather that the sort of personality for whom intelligence is an important part of their self-image is ill-suited to the job. I suspect Eisenhower, the man who ran the biggest invasion in history, was smarter than both Stevson and the Coumbia professors who loathed him so much. It's just that he understood that intelligence isn't the only important thing about a person. That's an attitude that tends to really piss off "intellectuals," leading them to call you "stupid," which to them is the worst insult imaginable.

Anyway, have you written anything about this previously?

Anonymous said...


Since you're a private person and a not so not-private person, it isn't obviously unacceptable for you to write as you do. You seem, however, to imply views that are not obviously acceptable to me and the rest of us superior people. Your readers are perhaps quite curious, and I am personally itching, to know what your views aren't. I have here used precisely the words I wished and the precise shades of meaning I intended and any attempt to understand me which uses or refers to other words is a distortion and rude and marks you as one of the not better people.

Anonymous said...

Dubya claimed that Billy Graham "planted a seed"

Later Graham turned up on the Nixon tapes spouting noxious anti semitism.

Graham was forgiven by many for his nasty attitude - presumbly because he a popular preacher and pragmatism held sway..

To go after Obama for far less and for someone who influenced him less than Graham influenced Bush - is not right.

Anonymous said...

Do you all really think the Republicans will have the guts to go after Obama for his racial obsessions and anti-white attitudes? My guess is that the public figures that Obama will do about the same as President as Hillary, so why not elect someone likable?

Steve: Why is no one noticing that the anti-Southern bias in Obama's appeal? Northeastern and West Coast liberals often have regional disdain for Southern culture, and because black American culture is in large part Southern agrarian culture, most "right thinking" people, to their chagrin, connect with very few black people.
I have often noticed that non-racist Southern whites, who have their own culture of machismo, get along much better with blacks than do Daily Kos types. Well- educated liberals who are uncomfortable with masculine men and who've never had sweet potato pie are falling on their knees before Obama, who is boyishly unthreatening and is not descended from slaves, saying to themselves "Here's one we can like FOR REAL!". This is simply another instance of leftists rejecting American culture in favor of shallow exoticism, dressing it up as "tolerance and open-mindedness" and convincing themselves that they are morally superior to ordinary Americans because of it.

Eternally Anonymous

Anonymous said...


You mention Romney's father's polygamy (or was it grandfather?), and Obama's father's polygamy.

Romney's family were Americans, actively going against American law, culture, and morals by following Joe Smith's teachings.

Obama's father was a muslim Kenyan who was not an American citizen, and was consistent with the morals and culture from where he came.

That's the difference, and that's why the Romney family history of polygamy is far more interesting than the Obama family history of polygamy.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the big picture on Obama, I'm wondering if the Obamessiah thesis may be worth considering. Honestly, there are so many parallels I'm worried I'm going to leave some out:

1. His father comes from a far-off place. While it is not understood well by the locals, rumors have it that this place is peopled only by the pure and innocent.

2. His father impregnated a local girl.

3. His father then abandoned the local girl, and, while this doesn't really match with local values, you're not really supposed to judges denizens of Kenya/heaven by local values.

4. While the Obamessiah takes after the father, and tries to spread his Word as much as possible, he was tormented by his father having forsaken him.

5. The Obamessiah is pretty clear about wanting to be God's instrument, and wanting to create a kingdom on earth.

6. The Obamessiah's own religion is unclear. Just as Christians seem to forget, or at best, gloss over the fact the Christ was Jewish, Obama's supporters seem unconcerned by the variety of Muslim, Marxist, Christian, and agnostic values which have influenced the Obamessiah. The point is that the Obamessiah is his supporter's religion; his own religion is an academic question.

7. The whole form of support for the Obamessiah comes from the notion among the locals that they have sinned against Africa/heaven. Just as most Obama supporters were born after Jim Crow ended (and all were born after slavery), Christians were born after the expulsion from the garden of Eden. The guilt is maintained only through abstract concepts of racism/original sin.

Obviously, the parallels can be taken too far and I'm not trying to do that. I have no problem with actual religious belief; it just worries the hell out of me when people see current reality through the peculiar distortion of pre-existing, half-remembered religious beliefs. Believe, or don't believe, but above all, be aware of the form of your own belief.

Anonymous said...

By making faith a centerpiece of his campaign, Obama lost my vote.

Maybe if Obama were older and wiser, he would have realized that religious worship, much like sexual activity is both a free and private matter.

The Oath of Office does not and should not have anything to do with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, his South Side Church or what Obama does therein.

With more than one Senate-win under his belt, Obama probably could have fine-tuned his "christian-ness" to answer appropriate questions in the same way that Kennedy did on September 12, 1960 when he said:

"I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic."

My father once told me that a candidate can either be in the pulpit or in office - but he or she cannot reside in both.

Smart guy my dad ... if he were alive today, he would really have appreciated this blog post Steve.