Conservatives Launch Desperate Attempt To Sully Obama With 2007 Katrina Speech Replay (VIDEO)

In a pathetic attempt to dampen the cresting Obama wave, conservative columnists hit a new low on Tuesday night with the release of a six-year-old speech by then Senator Barack Obama, treating the release as a bombshell and game-changer.

In fact, what the Daily Caller/Drudge did was appeal to conservatives’ tribal sentiments and their seemingly collective fear of the “black man” gaining power.

In what conservatives might deem the “worst” of the video, Obama thanks his former Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, a figure whose controversial nature is so 2008. The fact that Obama’s former pastor was a little militant, and made one or two off-the-rocker comments, is hardly news after Obama has performed in the Oval Office for four years, without any Black Panther creeping into his psyche.

In the rest of the video, Obama laments the condition of New Orleans post-Katrina, with “accent” and anger, which the Daily Caller spins as propaganda against white people. From a glance at my Facebook feed this morning, I can see that Republicans hungry for an Obama scandal have jumped on this non-news with the gusto that a married man devours porn.

While regard to “accent,” Obama does seem to be channeling his inner pastor in the speech, but I find nothing blameworthy about that, particularly in a country that prides itself on faith and values. The fact that this conservative “scoop” focuses its ire on Obama’s accent, and his acting more “black” and “heated” than his demeanor in White House press conferences, validates the racial-porn facet of the hyped video.

As Obama touches on the devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf South, and the painful lack of revitalization and rebuilding efforts almost 2 years later, Obama says it “steams me up.” He says the George W. Bush administration needs to cut the bureaucracy and provide more aid to New Orleans, via Stafford Act waivers so the struggling city didn’t have to contribute up front 10 percent of rebuilding costs. President Bush extended these waivers to New York in the wake of Sept. 11 and to Florida in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Bush also eventually did this for New Orleans, long after the help was initially needed.

About the incredibly inadequate response of the Bush administration to Katrina, Obama says “It tells me that the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much.” Hardly a novel, or even unfair, statement. George Bush himself admitted to his shortcomings in the government’s response to Katrina, saying he was “appalled that a nation as wealthy as ours was not able to respond as effectively as we should have.”

After Fox News spin, the over-hyped 2007 Obama clip starts at 1m50s (Article continues after video.):

It’s helpful to keep in mind what Obama’s point is. He is not trying to incite a riot. He is expressing the anger of a whole class of people who are ignored not just in tragedy, but in their everyday poverty in this country. Not just black people, but white people and other minorities, too, who have experienced the structural injustice that allows the persistence of poverty, hunger, lack of social mobility, and higher incarceration rates among minorities and the poor.

In fact, in another speech given around the same time, Obama considers whether “race was the reason the response was so slow” for people stranded after Katrina:

I say, ‘No,’ this administration was colorblind in its incompetence. But everyone here knows that the disaster and the poverty happened long before the hurricane hit. All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day, which is that there are whole sets of communities that are impoverished, whole sets of communities that don’t have meaningful opportunity, and don’t have hope, and are forgotten. This disaster has been going on for generations.

Here’s the video:

Next, Obama addresses not how to keep the poor dependent, but how to help fold them into the economy, and help them become self-sufficient:

“We need additional federal transportation dollars going to the highest-need communities…we’ve got to help connect them to the jobs that exist. We should be investing in minority-owned businesses…so people don’t have to travel from miles away.”

Geez, if Obama’s vision sounds an awful lot like George W. Bush’s stated vision, does that mean that Bushie supports class warfare and blames white people for the nation’s troubles, too?

You decide if the conservative disdain for Obama’s 2007 speech is justified, when compared with these words spoken by Bush in New Orleans after Katrina:

As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created.