Leaders: ‘What side of history do we want to be on?’
“You know, that is who we are—we are earmarks!” she said. “He refuses to stand up for us and give us the funding that we deserve. He’s not going to turn around in the next four or eight years and remember us.”
When he went to school he had to rely on scholarships, Garriott said, and being a half-white, half-black man, he is no stranger to ridicule and prejudice. “We all know that when we go into a store in a big city, people look at us differently. I used to go the border towns and people would follow me around in the store because I had dark skin and long hair. We all know what those experiences are like.
“Senator Obama has gone through those same experiences.”
Garriott said it is those experiences that have helped Obama forge his Indian policy, “which many throughout the country say is the most progressive Indian policy that we have seen in history.” He recognizes Navajo Nation sovereignty and he recognizes the Treaty of 1868 which the Nation signed with the federal government, Garriott said.
For more on the subject, see The 2008 Presidential Campaign.
"As this article notes, many Indians share Obama's experiences. Few Indians share McCain's 8-10 houses or Palin's $150,000 wardrobe. Case closed?"
Few Indians have Obama's income or mansion either, nor do they have most of a billion dollars at their command to spend like Obama does right now.
Obama's income in 2007 was $4.2 million. I find the combined income of Cindy and John McCain in 2006 to be less than $7 million. Do you believe that there are many more Indians in Obama's income bracket than McCain's?
(If you want to look at "experiences", probably far many more Native Americans are military veterans than were primarily raised outside of "Native America" (Hawaii and Indonesia). )
If you are making a case based on millionaire assets, the case isn't closed at all.
Obama's 2007 income was temporarily inflated by book sales. The Obamas aren't nearly as well-off as the McCains overall.
The annual income for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and his wife dropped about $680,000 in 2006 from the nearly $1.7 million they took in the prior year, according to documents released Monday.
Information released by the Chicago Democrat's presidential campaign indicated that the Obamas' total income decreased because in 2005 they had a major book deal and a one-time bonus.
Their 2006 income of $991,296 included Obama's salary of $157,082 and his wife's administrator's pay of $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals and $51,200 in director fees from a food distributor, TreeHouse Inc.
Senator Barack Obama released his 2007 tax return on Wednesday evening, reporting a household income of $4.2 million due to a sharp increase in the sales of his books during the first year of his presidential campaign.
In the return released Wednesday, Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported a $3.9 million net profit from books, a sum that dwarfed their combined salaries of $260,735.
Besides, income is only one measure of wealth. Net worth is arguably a better measure.
Official Net Worth: McCain $36.4 Million, Obama $799,000
Besides, the issue I raised was how the candidates spend their money, not how much they have. McCain is wasting his money on 8-10 houses he can't possibly use. The Republican Party is wasting its money on Palin's wardrobe rather than making a case for its candidates.
In contrast, the Obamas have lived and campaigned modestly, as far as I know. They haven't wasted huge amounts of money (theirs or their supporters') on luxuries.
Moreover, Republicans have made Obama's "elitism" an issue. Which is a colossal joke. Since when is a community organizer who grew up in poverty an "elitist"? Since when is a multimillionaire Washington insider who pals around with lobbyists and other fat cats not an elitist?
McCain's argument--that he's an agent of change while Obama is an out-of-touch elitist--is the epitome of hypocrisy. Indians and others have seen through this silly claim, which is transparent as glass. That's why they're voting for Obama.
You said "Besides, the issue I raised"
You did say "As this article notes, many Indians share Obama's experiences."
That invites looking at their real experiences.
If the Obamas are raking in $4 million a year and their net worth is $800,000 a year, perhaps they are blowing a lot of money. So what is it is not 8-10 houses. Millionaire elites find other things to blow their money on.
Also, I'd be surprised that their net worth is as low as $800,000. Their house alone is worth twice that. Then we can also look at the small percentage of Indians with even the lowballed net worth of $800,000
Also, Obama's privileged childhood included spending grades 5 through 12 in an elite preperatory academy. He also went to elite schools prior to that. His parents paid for them. This directly contradicts the claim that he grew up in poverty.
So, how "many Indians share" this experience of Obama's? Only a small minority of any Americans, let alone any Indians, share Obama's experiences.
You do have a point in your claim that "McCain's argument--that he's an agent of change while Obama is an out-of-touch elitist--is the epitome of hypocrisy", but there is no case to be Barack Obama's background and experiences are also privileged and elite, and his experience is so unique when you compare to everyone, not just Native Americans.
Also, the experiences of Obama are so atypical that you can't make a case that they are more "typical" than McCain's background which is also elite.
That is not a condemnation of Obama, by the way. I think it is probably a good thing that his background included an elite education that was much better than that of his peers. It makes him more prepared.
But I think you do understand, overall. You did ask "Since when is a multimillionaire Washington insider who pals around with lobbyists and other fat cats" not an elitist?"
Very good question when we talk about these two two elite candidates.
Also, "his salary of $157,082 and his wife's administrator's pay of $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals and $51,200 in director fees from a food distributor, TreeHouse Inc."
His income alone puts him in the 10% of wage earners. Combined with the rest of the income, that puts him into deep into the top 1.5%.
That puts him in the elites. Also, the Native American household income figures are way lower than the average figures, which likely means even fewer Native Americans in that elite 1.5% wage bracket.
So, yes, "many Indians share Obama's experiences". The 1% of Indians who share Obama's elite economic status, that is. And the less than 9% of Indians who have gone to elite private schools as Obama has.
The "experiences" I referred to are the ones in the article. You know, growing up in a single-parent household, relying on food stamps, being discriminated against. You're the only one equating the Obamas' present wealth and income with a lifetime of experiences.
I guess Punahou School counts as an "elite academy," but this article says Obama went there on a scholarship. So does Rolling Stone: "Obama spent four years in Jakarta before moving back to Honolulu, where he lived with his grandparents and won a scholarship to the private Punahou Academy." Where do you get that his parents or grandparents paid for it?
Obama may be an elitist now, though not as much as McCain. But many Indians have shared his youthful, pre-elitist experiences--the ones that made him who he is today. That's why they're voting for him.
"Experiences" refer to the past almost by definition. But if you want to talk about Obama's recent circumstances rather than his lifetime of experiences, okay.
The Obamas have earned more than $1 million a year only twice--because of their books sales. Here are their adjusted gross incomes from their tax returns:
Remember, Obama has been a lawyer, a state senator, and a US senator. He has a working professional wife. Given these factors, I'd say his income before his presidential run and the accompanying book sales has been remarkably modest.
In other words, he may be a member of the elite now, but he wasn't before 2005. For 43 of his 47 years, he was arguably a regular guy. That makes his lifetime of experiences a lot closer to most Indians' than McCain's.
" But if you want to talk about Obama's recent circumstances rather than his lifetime of experiences, okay."
His lifetime of experience is not that of an everyman, or anyone lower-class, for Indians or for non-Indians alike.
"Given these factors, I'd say his income before his presidential run and the accompanying book sales has been remarkably modest."
An average of at least $200,000 per year income puts him in the elites. Close to the guys with multiple houses. " Few Indians share McCain's 8-10 houses or Palin's $150,000 wardrobe." I amend ot to include "or even Obama's elite lifestyle and income". Then we can say "Case closed?"
You can argue quite well that Obama's record of public service make him very well suited for Indians and others. You can argue quite well that his intended policies making him very well suited for Indians and other.
But you can't argue that his experiences, at least on the level of his income and "means" and upbringing, bring him close to Indians. Few Indians share his experiences.
Re "But you can't argue that his experiences, at least on the level of his income and 'means' and upbringing, bring him close to Indians": Fortunately, that wasn't my primary argument. My primary argument was the same as the article's. Namely, that Obama's youthful experiences--growing up in a single-parent household, relying on food stamps, being discriminated against--are things Indians can identify with.
As for Obama's recent experiences, the facts speak for themselves. The Obamas' average annual income of $200-300K vs. the McCains' millions. Obama's net worth of $799,000 vs. McCain's $36.4 million. Obama's one house vs. McCain's 8-10. Etc.
I'd say Obama is closer to a homeless person with a net worth of zero than he is to McCain. But I guess that depends on how you compare them. You could say Obama's net worth is infinitely more than the homeless person's. Or you could say his net worth is $799,000 more than the homeless person's, while McCain's is $35,601,000 more than Obama's.
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