Obama rejects, denounces & disowns Wright

I think the term "Sister Souljah Moment" may need to be renamed as "Jeremiah Wright Moment":

Obama basically said exactly what Andrew Sullivan said yesterday that he needed to say, so it’s no surprise that Sullivan called Obama’s remarks "a very impressive, clear and constructive re-framing of the core message of his candidacy. … [T]oday, we found that he can fight back, and take a stand, without
calculation and in what is clearly a great amount of personal
difficulty and political pain. It’s what anyone should want in a
president." More reactions here, including this from Jonathan Chait:

His denunciation of Rev. Wright today seems to be pretty much a
bullseye. Why did he let the story hang out there so long without a
response? I don’t know, but I do see a pattern here: Throughout the
campaign, Obama has made very good tactical moves, but he’s made them
slowly. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has made a lot of mistakes, but
she does grasp the 24-hour news cycle and she acts very quickly.

That’s my impression, too.

Glenn Reynolds, however, is unimpressed. I expect that most on the Right will react similarly. But I’m not sure what else they want Obama to say. They can say, as Glenn does, that he should have said it sooner. Fine. But that’s a weak criticism. "Better late than never" is a common expression for a reason. And, look, can we take a big-picture view of this, please? Even if you have a completely cynical opinion on Obama’s transformation vis a vis Wright — even if you don’t believe him for a second when he claims he didn’t realize until now that Wright was so radical and disgusting — let’s take a look at where we are now, as opposed to where we were a month ago or three months ago or 20 years ago.

Right now, at this very moment, we have an African-American candidate for president who commands overwhelming support within the black community, who has just explicitly and firmly denounced the radical and hateful nonsense that is all too often accepted and repeated without question within that selfsame black community. That’s a very good thing. Wright will undoubtedly dismiss Obama’s comments as, in Al Sharpton‘s words, "grandstanding in front of white people," but the truth is that Obama is speaking to black people, too — he’s speaking to everyone — and he is sending a very clear message: enough with the bulls**t. Haven’t conservatives been waiting for a black leader to do that for, like, forever?

This is the promise of the Obama candidacy, encapsulated and made real. Obama is urging blacks to leave behind, once and for all, the politics of conspiratorial victimhood — the politics of Jeremiah Wright and, although Obama can’t afford politically to say so explicitly, of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton — and embrace the politics of unity and hope and, ultimately, self-empowerment.

You can parse his words and question his timing, and you’ll find plenty to criticize. But ultimately — again, big picture, people — he’s doing the right thing, and it’s a very important "right thing." Either his heart’s in the right place, or, if you want to be all cynical
about it, he’s pretending that it is, and his overall message demands
that he continue to do so, which is almost as good. Either way, the Barack Obama who spoke today is the natural ally of anyone who has ever despaired over the blame-whitey victimhood culture within the black community. No, he’s not quite channeling Bill Cosby. He wouldn’t be in this position if he were. No, he didn’t throw Jeremiah Wright under the bus last fall. It’s a delicate and difficult tightrope he’s walking. He’s not perfect. But no one is, and Obama is trying harder than anyone else has, on this stage, ever before. Be reasonable! 

I’m not saying how we got here is entirely unimportant, but I think recognizing where we are now is vastly more important. And I think it would be a shame if Obama is now effectively crucified by both sides: the political right (and its newfound ally, Hillary Clinton), for not saying this sooner; and radical elements of the liberal-black community, for saying it at all. Rightly or wrongly, the takeaway lesson, if such a two-front assault destroys him, would be that a black politician cannot succeed on the national stage, at least until the baby boomers die off. Conservatives ought not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (That’s liberals’ job!) Obama is doing the right thing here, and if he’s a little late to the party, slap him on the wrist and then defend him against the coming Wright/Sharpton/etc. onslaught. And then beat him in November on security issues or whatever. But he’s on the right side of this issue, and if he loses because of it, it will be a shame for everyone — principled conservatives included.

P.S. My dad writes: "It’s now expected that Wright … will come back and further Diss
the apostate. / This will be Good. Instead of Hillary & McCain
running for President against Jeremiah Wright, Wright will be perceived
as running against Obama. Excellent."

My dad, incidentally, says Wright is "evidently jealous" of Obama, but I think Cornhuskers may have hit closer to the mark when he said that Wright’s ramblings confirmed a longstanding fear that the old-guard "civil rights leaders would fear that they are going to lose that
‘white man behind the curtain keeping black people down’ trump card" and would consequently go after Obama, knowing that "it’s hard to preach this when the person sitting in the big chair at 1600 Penn is a black man." Further support for this theory: now Al Sharpton is coming after Obama, too.

This is good, as my dad said. If Obama is running against Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright, he’ll win in a landslide.

91 Responses to “Obama rejects, denounces & disowns Wright”

  1. copndor says:

    That moment was wrong for Wright, right for the right, and wrong for the Right.

  2. copndor says:

    Hillary slated for interview with O’Reilly in South Bend, Indiana a.k.a the nexus of the universe.

  3. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Brendan-

    To your dad’s point, Newt Gingrich said something along these lines. Gingrich believes Wright is going after Obama because Obama distanced himself from Wright.

    Food for thought, though. If Obama and Wright had a truly close relationship, and if Wright was Obama’s spiritual adviser, and if Wright is so completely off his rocker he will say anything, what are the chances he may reveal some of those things that Obama may have confided to Wright in his role as Pastor?

  4. CORNHUSKERS 94 95 & 97 says:

    “This is the promise of the Obama candidacy, encapsulated and made real. Obama is urging blacks to leave behind, once and for all, the politics of conspiratorial victimhood — the politics of Jeremiah Wright and, although Obama can’t afford politically to say so explicitly, of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton — and embrace the politics of unity and hope and, ultimately, self-empowerment.”

    I am saying this without any apologies to anyone! There are injustices in the world and IMHO the Sean Bell case is a good representation of that but I mean come on it’s 2008 when do you slay the boggie man and move on.

  5. CORNHUSKERS 94 95 & 97 says:

    “This is the promise of the Obama candidacy, encapsulated and made real. Obama is urging blacks to leave behind, once and for all, the politics of conspiratorial victimhood — the politics of Jeremiah Wright and, although Obama can’t afford politically to say so explicitly, of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton — and embrace the politics of unity and hope and, ultimately, self-empowerment.”

    I am saying this without any apologies to anyone! There are injustices in the world and IMHO the Sean Bell case is a good representation of that but I mean come on it’s 2008 when do you slay the boggie man and move on.

  6. Antonia says:

    I think this was all planned by Obama and Wright working TOGETHER

    Obama need a away to throw Wright under a bus SO Write helped him

    by throwing Obama under a bus first!

    What person could hold this against Obama?

    I mean Wright is a nut job… he proved that ( as planned) this week.

    Wright did this FOR Obama.

  7. yea says:

    i think justice was properly served in the sean bell case.

  8. john says:

    I’m no fan of Obama, but this is a good day for racial politics (see: “decline of”)

    I am so tired of seeing blacks acting like crabs in a cooking pot. It is hard enough for a black man to get ahead, and they don’t need to keep pulling each other down.

    Obama has done this country a service, and will go down in history. He’s just too liberal for me to want as a President.

  9. Father Time says:

    It’s too late for you Obama. I’m sorry. No one believes you didn’t know who Wright was. That’s what all this comes down to. Your denunciations appear self-serving and insincere.

  10. copndor says:

    Father Time, give it up. Everyone knows you’re biased against change.

  11. David K. says:

    Right Antonia, its some vast conspiracy…

  12. thebeef says:

    The timing of this statement IS the “big picture.”

    What, I’m supposed to be impressed that a candidate for President of the United States disowns a hate-mongering lunatic who equates terrorists with the United States military?! No, that’s something I would EXPECT. And, even so, i would be immensley dissapointed that the candidate even had such a relationship to disown.

    But Obama DID NOT disown Rev. Wright when this story broke. To the contrary, he specifically REFUSED to disown Rev. Wright, and the lefties and Obama supporters (the later, including Brendan) PRAISED Obama for his wish-washy response, calling it “historic.” They found it so wonderful that Obama approached the issue delicately, treating Rev. Wright’s blatantly anti-American remarks as a “complex” racial issue.

    And now…now that the story refused to die..now that it is becoming more and more obvious that Rev. Wright will never go away…now, Obama disowns Rev. Wright. And I’m supposed to be impressed?

    The big picture here is not that Obama is disowning Rev. Wright. The big picture is that Obama is now saying what he should have said from the beginning. And it took him two tries to get here.

    Brendan, you say there’s a reason why people say “better late than never.”

    Well, I say there’s a reason why people say: “too little, too late.”

  13. thebeef says:

    And it’s nauseating that the same people who praised Obama for NOT disowning Wright are now praising Obama for disowning Wright.

    Truly, some people believe Obama can do no wrong.

  14. I R A Darth Aggie says:

    copndor, Father Time is spot on.

    Keep in mind that Obama sat in Wright’s church for 20 years. Given the Protestant penchant for trying different churches until one finds the right “fit”, that tells me that Obama was OK with what Wright is preaching.

    Keep in mind that Wright married the Obama’s, and that the Obama’s thought it was OK to expose their children to Wright’s theology.

    Now, all of a sudden, that seems to be no longer true. if so, what changed? is that the sort of change you hope for? why now? why not in 2007, when Obama was first getting his campaign together? or 2004 when he was running for the Senate?

    Just quietly switch churches. If anyone asked, just say “it was time for a change, I didn’t like the theological point of view any more”. No one would say “boo” about that.

  15. tim says:

    You have not just the right sentiment, but the exact right analogy as well. Nicely done.

  16. CORNHUSKERS 94 95 97 says:

    YEA

    Please explain how cops unload 50 shots on UNARMED civilians and there is not even a guilty charge of reckless endangerment? Even if you dismissed the guilty charge right after there must be some form of punishment

    I still was not shocked by the verdict

  17. Buster Bunns says:

    I believe Obama has done a masterful job of repositioning himself as an American candidate not a black candidate. He pretty much scored a bullseye in his denunciation of Wrights comments. Not something that will endear him to Jackson, Sharpton et al who have made a career out of divisive racial politics. He has however taken a giant step forward towards establishing a dialog to close the racial divide once and for all. Well done!

  18. Kurgan says:

    Brandon,

    Problem is that you have a healthy percentage of Blacks who are not ready to move on.

    This has done immense damage to his campaign.

    Throwing the Reverend under the bus is one thing, but there is certain to be video of him on the front row of the pews, agreeing with the Reverend; all before the WH run.

    At the end of the day, Mr. Obama is above all; a politician.

    Kurgan

    Congrats on the baby. Take care of her and she will take care Daddy.

  19. Kurgan says:

    Brandon,

    Problem is that you have a healthy percentage of Blacks who are not ready to move on.

    This has done immense damage to his campaign.

    Throwing the Reverend under the bus is one thing, but there is certain to be video of him on the front row of the pews, agreeing with the Reverend; all before the WH run.

    At the end of the day, Mr. Obama is above all; a politician.

    Kurgan

    Congrats on the baby. Take care of her and she will take care Daddy.

  20. eagleye says:

    Who gives a rat’s ass what Glenn Reynolds thinks about anything?

    And why isn’t McCain’s loyalty to G.W. Bush a lot bigger story than Obama’s relationship with his Pastor?

  21. Ryan says:

    eagleye:

    Nice try… come back after GW Bush accuses the government of plotting to infect Texans with polio or something. :/

  22. Chris says:

    People are cynical about Obama’s “denouncing” his pastor because it was a cynical move. Obama spent 20 years in the man’s pews and donated tens of thousands of dollars to him. But now when Wright is a political liability, Obama throws him under the bus.

    Didn’t Obama say just a month ago that he could no more denounce Jeremiah Wright than he could denounce the Black community?

    Pretty revolting stuff, IMO.

  23. UCLAdy04 says:

    Who do you guys think you are sitting up here self-rigtheously analyzing the psyche of the Black community? Your stereotypes show your ignorance and prejudices. Do the world a favor and don’t speak on what you know NOTHING about. The only people who keep this narrative about “black victimhood” are White folks who don’t want to acknowledge the very real racism that exists. The same people who say Michael Richard’s isn’t racist for saying the n-word 20 times and saying Black men should be hanged and sodomized, but who call a preacher who says some crazy things racist.

    So…like I said, please spare me. You don’t know how Black folks think, you only ASSume to know.

  24. Gregory Koster says:

    Dear Mr. Loy: let me quote your motto back at you:

    “Be reasonable!”

    All right. I’ll grant that you are not one of the mob of imbeciles shouting for Obama in the manner of Andrew “I’m going to have Barack’s baby” Sullivan. To me, foreign affairs are paramount in this election, specifically the conflict against Islamic extremism. What on earth does it say for Obama that he knew a man well for 20 years and now is reduced to saying, “I guess I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did”? I’ll go further: let’s assume that Obama is not being cynical and really didn’t think Wright was like that, the meanie. What’s he going to do when he visits Ahmidinejad without preconditions? Look into his eyes and see his soul in the manner of GWBush and Putin? No no, the measure of the hollowness of the man is that foreign affairs bore him, and he wants to put them aside. He will soon find out what all new Presidents learn: forcing a domestic agenda through takes a sizable majority, great timing, and lots of luck. It is foreign affairs that a President can make the most of. So far Obama’s views on foreign affairs have been idiotic, trying to outdo Jimmy Carter in ridiculousness.

    Parting shot: you are impressed with the Obama who spoke today. Fair enough: such expressions ARE praiseworthy. What’s the Obama of tomorrow going to say after Michelle yanked his ear and screamed at him for two hours, and then kicked him out to sleep on the couch? What’s the Obama of next Wednesday going to say when he only gets 60% percent of the black vote in North Carolina and the black turnout was around 40%? Think he’ll stick with his talking points of today?

    Me neither.

    Sincerely yours,

    Gregory Koster

  25. Jim says:

    I believe Gregory misses the point of the whole thing in his last paragraph. Obama doesn’t react to public sentiment like a normal politician. A normal politician would have unequivocally distanced themselves from Wright the first day this scandal broke, months ago.

    Instead, Obama discussed what he disagreed with that Wright has said. Now Wright has pushed the issue, and clearly called into question Obama’s motives for denouncing his viewpoint. At that time, any personal relationship they had is now void, and at this time it makes sense to completely reject Wright.

    The way the whole thing went down is completely the *opposite* of political pandering.

    This is the whole point with him. He doesn’t pander. You don’t see a B.S. gas tax holiday from him. You didn’t see support for going into Iraq from him. You saw him saying we should talk to our enemies. You saw him saying he would take out al Qaeda in Pakistan.

    Whatever you think of the policies (and I’d point out that a large swath of the foreign policy community agrees with Obama, despite what Koster may think) it is demonstrably false that he changes his positions and panders to the moment.

  26. Brendan says:

    What Jim said.

  27. Father Time says:

    Copndor,

    The more things change, the more they stay the same ! Say my name !

  28. thebeef says:

    Obama doesn’t pander!?!

    Hmmm…I recall something about Obama telling Ohio voters he would re-negotiate NAFTA, while his campaign told Canada that Obama would NOT re-negotiate NAFTA, calling claims to the contrary “political rhetoric.” And then Obama denied it. Until the memo was leaked.

    But, yeah. Obama’s NEW and HOPEFUL!! He’s the unique and unheard of politician who doesn’t politic!!!

    Demonstrably false my ass.

  29. Mirror Mirror says:

    Mirror, Mirror, on the wall

    who is UCLA lady, to condemn us all ?

    An angry black victim, of stereo-type,

    claiming race-trump-card, each and every fight ?

    Methinkest so. Please, education us stupid white people. Will Jeremiah be a guest speaker ? Are you now or have you ever been an infectee of a racist white government plot ?

  30. Roy Cone says:

    Pretty strong words from Obama about his former pastor. Too bad for the former’s campaign that it’s too late. This was a speech Obama should have made weeks ago in front of all those American flags. Back then, he purposefully failed to address those Rev. Wright sound bites. Obama’s failure to act swiftly and decisively demonstrates his lack of “judgment”. America cannot allow a President to drag things out unnecessarily. Obama chose to drag his feet before ultimately throwing Rev. Wright under the bus. As two more primaries approach, Obama appears to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  31. Noticias says:

    Notice how people who defensively use the term “black community” are just hanging on to the past and group identity because they are afraid to live without the trump card, with the vulnerable identity of the individual ? I had hoped Barack Obama represented a departure from that, but it is likely in conservatism that such stifling group identity will one day be broken. Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Herman Cain, these are the voices from within the “black community” that can save it, by freeing each member to become an individual describe by, but not defined by, their race. (like the rest of us).

  32. Jim says:

    thebeef, his campaign said no such thing. one of his economic advisors did. you’ll also note that his economic advisors are further right than he is on economic matters, so one might consider that it might have been wishful thinking on his part.

    At any rate, you’ve named one debatable incident. I think that’s a pretty weak case, especially in the face of several incidents that indicate the opposite.

  33. CD says:

    Noticias:

    Wow. Ignorant asshole much? I’m about as far from a knee-jerk-apologist-conspiracy-theorist-anti-free-will-liberal as you can get and still be in the Democratic party, and what you just typed literally took my breath away. Congratulations to you and your life of valor lived as the ‘vulnerable individual’ burdened with neither the cost nor benefit (I’m sure) of any kind of group identity.

    I mean, c’mon people, when are we all going to man up and take invividual responsibility for the circumstances into which we are born and the hundreds, nay thousands, of years of prejudices we face? The Jews, the Blacks, the women… we all know they’re just really afraid to live individual lives for which they are responsible. Right? Holy shit.

  34. Noticias says:

    Yeah CD, pretty much everything I said was right. The tragedy is that people like you are so scandalized by the truth. How can racial identity be positive when practiced by one group and extremely negative when practiced by another ? The insanity of the contradiction and its continuing legitimacy by status quoers like you is what perpetuates real race problems.

  35. G. Rupeh Idenditty says:

    Someone call Noticias a racist, quick ! It’s been more than 20 minutes ! Hurry!

  36. CD says:

    Your notion that racial identity is only practiced by ‘one group’ or even ‘select groups’ is your number one problem. Any analysis you put forward from that extremely and demonstrably false premise is inherently fucked.

    Ah… if we all just had the moral fortitude to grow up white middle class. What a glorious individualistic meritocracy ‘twould be.

  37. franklinstein says:

    Just in case anyone missed it…

    The timing of this statement IS the “big picture.”

    What, I’m supposed to be impressed that a candidate for President of the United States disowns a hate-mongering lunatic who equates terrorists with the United States military?! No, that’s something I would EXPECT. And, even so, i would be immensley dissapointed that the candidate even had such a relationship to disown.

    But Obama DID NOT disown Rev. Wright when this story broke. To the contrary, he specifically REFUSED to disown Rev. Wright, and the lefties and Obama supporters (the later, including Brendan) PRAISED Obama for his wish-washy response, calling it “historic.” They found it so wonderful that Obama approached the issue delicately, treating Rev. Wright’s blatantly anti-American remarks as a “complex” racial issue.

    And now…now that the story refused to die..now that it is becoming more and more obvious that Rev. Wright will never go away…now, Obama disowns Rev. Wright. And I’m supposed to be impressed?

    The big picture here is not that Obama is disowning Rev. Wright. The big picture is that Obama is now saying what he should have said from the beginning. And it took him two tries to get here.

    Brendan, you say there’s a reason why people say “better late than never.”

    Well, I say there’s a reason why people say: “too little, too late.”

    Posted by: thebeef | Apr 29, 2008 6:05:46 PM

    And it’s nauseating that the same people who praised Obama for NOT disowning Wright are now praising Obama for disowning Wright.

    Truly, some people believe Obama can do no wrong.

    Posted by: thebeef | Apr 29, 2008 6:06:58 PM

    Seriously, I could not have said it better.

  38. franklinstein says:

    thebeef, his campaign said no such thing. one of his economic advisors did. you’ll also note that his economic advisors are further right than he is on economic matters, so one might consider that it might have been wishful thinking on his part.

    At any rate, you’ve named one debatable incident. I think that’s a pretty weak case, especially in the face of several incidents that indicate the opposite.

    Posted by: Jim | Apr 29, 2008 11:00:28 PM

    Jim, Seriously? Wow, that is quite possibly one of the most “nuanced” arguments I’ve ever seen. Good luck using that one outside of a third grade debating class.

  39. Jim says:

    What, that the preponderance of evidence supports my viewpoint? I’ll do that, thanks.

  40. Andrew says:

    Haven’t conservatives been waiting for a black leader to do that for, like, forever?

    Guilty as charged.

    This is the promise of the Obama candidacy, encapsulated and made real. Obama is urging blacks to leave behind, once and for all, the politics of conspiratorial victimhood — the politics of Jeremiah Wright and, although Obama can’t afford politically to say so explicitly, of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton — and embrace the politics of unity and hope and, ultimately, self-empowerment.

    Here is where you start to fall off the wagon. Obama is urging no such thing. In his previous big speech on race, he rationalized “the [black] politics of conspiratorial victimhood”. Now, he dissociate himself from this line of thinking in front of white voters; he has yet to make a Cosby-esque argument that blacks need to move on from this worldview. Beyond that, the “politics of unity and hope and … self-empowerment” is no more real than the politics of division and cynicism and enslavement. Liberals have a tendency to make politics into their religion, and your falling into that initial trap here by assuming Obama’s political rhetoric is a harbinger of some new era of “enlightened” politics. Again, it’s Obama as the messiah.

    Either way, the Barack Obama who spoke today is the natural ally of anyone who has ever despaired over the blame-whitey victimhood culture within the black community. … and Obama is trying harder than anyone else has, on this stage, ever before. Be reasonable!

    Okay, again, I’ll accept your premise that Obama is pushing racial progress forward, and this is movement that conservatives should applaud. However, rhetoric does not equal transformation. Yes, it’s a start. But logos and pathos are only part of the equation; ethos has a part to play as well. And while Obama talks the role of transformational politician quite well, to this date, he has done absolutely nothing to show that he walks the walk. When you’re a legislator, books and speeches don’t count — votes do. And he hasn’t lifted a finger to oppose any of the entrenched constituencies of the Democratic Party, least of all the charlatan wingnuts who purport to speak for black America. Indeed, in most cases he’s been their reliable tool.

    Rightly or wrongly, the takeaway lesson, if such a two-front assault destroys him, would be that a black politician cannot succeed on the national stage, at least until the baby boomers die off.

    I agree that there is a poison associated with the Boomer era (not least of all, the specter of Vietnam) that continues to hamper American progress. But again, in the end, Obama’s downfall won’t be because he lost the black vote or the white vote. Instead, what will hurt Obama the most is the nature of a long-term presidential campaign, which unearths skeletons and realities heretofore unexamined. In Obama’s case, many non-Democrats will be deeply skeptical of a candidate who claims he will shatter the bonds of a divisive racial past while simultaneously invoking every standard left-wing trope when it comes to the economy, foreign policy, fiscal policy, tax policy, and social programs. Why should we trust him to lead us into a 21st-century politics of “self-empowerment” when the rest of his politics are right out of the mid-20th century’s New Left mindset of more government reach over and into our lives? Sure, I know my words mean little coming from the fingertips of a privileged middle-class whiteboy, but I’d rather be the oppressed black man under John McCain’s vision of government size and purpose than a rich white man in an Obama America. Heck, if Obama is even half successful in raising income, dividend, and capital gains taxes while simultaneously withdrawing from Iraq and letting the Middle East implode, I might seriously consider looking for a transfer with Boeing in Australia and spending some time working abroad. I have absolutely no interest in living through 4-8 years of rousing presidential speeches about “unity and hope and … self-empowerment” while my taxes double, government explodes in size to nationalize healthcare, Social Security taxes go up while benefits fall, free trade is rolled back and eliminated, even more money is dumped into the worthless, inept public education system, and the economy nosedives under the weight of it all.

    Conservatives ought not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (That’s liberals’ job!) Obama is doing the right thing here, and if he’s a little late to the party, slap him on the wrist and then defend him against the coming Wright/Sharpton/etc. onslaught. And then beat him in November on security issues or whatever. But he’s on the right side of this issue, and if he loses because of it, it will be a shame for everyone — principled conservatives included.

    I agree with your first sentence, but by no means does that logic obligate me to defend Obama from Sharpton and Wright. Obama made his bed by attending that church for twenty years and telling us that he could no more disown Wright than we could disown our own family. I don’t give a damn if he loses the election because of national security issues instead of racial issues; what matters is that he loses — not why he lost.

    I think we can throw out the tired Obama-as-the-Democratic-Reagan meme now. Instead, maybe the Democrats should start thinking of the possibility that Obama is a Goldwater of sorts for them. Obama is too imperfect to be president IMO, but he is definitely not too imperfect to be a martyr for the cause of slaying “the politics of conspiratorial victimhood”.

  41. Alasdair says:

    Jim – Apr 29 @ 11 PM – “At any rate, you’ve named one debatable incident. “ – so how about we take many other incidents, instead …

    Senator Obama has proudly admitted to attending the black equivalent of weekly KKK meetings for 20 years ! Well, proudly until the past couple of days … and, well, seems he didn’t actually *hear* Rev Wright say the words that were “taken out of context in sound bites” …

    Jim and Brendan – according to reasonable and rational thought processes, either Senator Obama is a True Believer in the Black Gospel according to Pastor Wright (which would put him pretty much in black sheet robes complete with the crosses and the pointy hoods) – or he spent 20 years pandering to Pastor Wright and his congregation …

    Which of the two is it that makes *you* want to even vaguely seriously consider the possibility of Senator Obama for President ?

    It will be interesting learning where he goes to church on Sunday, May 4th … will he “vote with his feet” ? Or will he go the arrogant route, similarly to Gary Hart and his prostestations of innocence, daring the Press to follow him – sublimely confident that the Press will cover up for him … look where that got Gary Hart !

  42. Alasdair says:

    Antonia – I considered that Wright might be an actual manufactured “straw man”, being set up (and setting himself up) so that Obama could knock him down …

    Cynical as I am, my suspicions about Wright tend more towards wondering which book publisher has “donated” how much to Wright and/or his church … and, of course, at the same time wondering how many of Clinton’s books that same publisher has published … a mere innocent coincidence, you say ? (And, yes, it may be that there is no connection between the two (or is it actually 1) publishers ?

  43. Noticias says:

    CD

    the fact that you so clearly have gotten angry and scandalized over the issue shows your weakness and susceptibility to racial issues. It’s the 21st century. 40 years out of Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. 50 Years out of Brown v. Board. 30 years since Thurgood Marshall. Colin Powell. Condoleeza Rice. Barack Obama – Iowa.

    There are people out there who believe that the world is flat. There are always going to be someone somewhere who puts a whites-only on a bathroom. It’s not a racist or racial nation anymore. Get over it.

  44. Angrier and Angrier says:

    My pastor has praised the war in Iraq and has bashed gays. Does that automatically mean his views are mine?

  45. yea says:

    there is a good chance obama might lose north carolina. survey usa (by far the best polling company this election) has the race down to 5 with strong movement toward clinton. if he loses nc and ind, clinton’s electability argument is going to gain major traction.

  46. CORNHUSKERS 94 95 & 97 says:

    A&A

    Unless you publicly disown those remarks then the answer is yes.

    His views are yours.

  47. CORNHUSKERS 94 95 & 97 says:

    A&A

    Unless you publicly disown those remarks then the answer is yes.

    His views are yours.

  48. kcatnd says:

    “Unless you publicly disown those remarks then the answer is yes.

    His views are yours.”

    Bullsh*t.

  49. Duck says:

    A & A. When you run for President of the United States, yes, we will care whether you got married by the guy and sat in the pews of screaming fans for 16 years.

  50. Angrier and Angrier says:

    CORNHUSKERS and Duck-

    So George W. Bush has publicly denounced Neal Bush for banging Thai prostitutes on business trips? I must have missed that part.

  51. Shaun says:

    do u seriously see that as a legit comparison A&A? i’ll put it as simply as possible… Neal is family… GWB didn’t CHOOSE to be affiliated with him. just because Neal committed some seriously inappropriate acts doesn’t mean that his brother thinks they’re ok… and furthermore, he shouldn’t be expected to disassociate himself with Neal because, once again, he’s family.

    on the other hand, Obama did CHOOSE to attend and become a member of a church whose leader is a racist extremist. not only that, be he developed a relationship with the guy such that he became a spiritual mentor. Obama chose the man to do his marriage ceremony and his children’s baptisms. if you associate yourself not only with a church with that kind of leadership, but also with the actual man himself to recieve spiritual mentoring, then you’re implying that you agree with the man on a fundamental level… not necessarily on everything… but at least enough that he felt the man was a good source of learning and inspiration.

    did he have other options? of course he did! i once attended a church who didn’t take a stand against the idea that the position of pastor or bishop is appropriate for an openly gay man who doesn’t think that his homosexuality is biblically sinful. as soon as i learned of those viewpoints, i left immediately.

    i don’t bring this up to debate the issue of homosexuality in Christianity or any other context, but in order to show what Obama should have done if he truly disagreed with some of this guy’s major beliefs.

    to those of u who might try to put words in my mouth, i’ll say right now that i am NOT saying that one can only attend a church where he agrees with the pastors on everything… i’m currently in a situation in which i don’t agree with them on everything, but the areas of disagreement are minor ones, and certainly not areas that would prevent me from receiving truthful gospel-centered teaching.

    Obama either agreed with the guy or just stayed for gain in Chicago/black community politics. we heard nothing new from Wright 2 days ago, except the bit about Obama’s motivations. For Obama to suddenly come out against Wright, conveniently right after a good chunk of his supporters began begging for him to do so, i see just another political move.

    also, for a guy who is supposed to be a good talker, he said “uh” and “um” quite a bit in his talk. is he trying to convince us that he was actually thinking of what to say next? give me a break! it’s pretty obvious that he wouldn’t have had that press conference without preparing his statements in advance. he tried way too hard to seem thoughtful.

  52. Duck says:

    If you don’t have anything reasonably convincing to say, say nothing at all.

    Why don’t liberals live by this maxim ? They seem to think that if a thought CAN be expressed on an issue, it MUST even in the absence of being the slightest bit convincing.

    A & A is not a dumb guy. (girl?). Yet he spouts that weak comparison as if it even approaches McCain-Hagee reasonability, which is STILL weaker than Obama-Wright (by leaps and bounds). So, therefore, I must conclude that liberals are trained that speaking dumb is better than speaking none. It’s got to be a strategy issue.

  53. Casey says:

    This is a dangerous game here.

    The right has been profiting from a depiction of Obama as either a closet black radical, or a coward who sat meekly while his country was maligned by a voice speaking with moral authority. Obama’s response closes the door on both perceptions. He is clearly not a black radical. And say what you like, but you will have a hard time painting a man who takes on his pastor in public like this as a coward.

    Obama’s connection with Wright is still problematic. But so are all religious affiliations. This country is full of people with religious beliefs or affiliations that are open to attack or ridicule. Most religious people in this country are exposed to such attacks on a regular basis. The public is receptive to attacking a candidate whose religion appears to be “God damn America.” But if the country starts to believe that Obama is simply being picked on for the same vexed relationship with religion that the rest of us have, the situation flips. Obama winds up looking less like an America-hating black radical, and more like a public figure who is being attacked for his style of religious practice.

    Nobody said John Kerry condoned child abuse because he remained catholic after that scandal broke. Nobody said that GW Bush condoned gay marriage because parts of the Anglican church do. Singling out Obama to be attacked for problematic religious affiliations that we all have was a risky strategem. The venom behind this whole scandal, coupled with Obama’s dignified response to it, may earn him the very religious sympathy that those on the right hoped it would steal.

  54. Nameless One says:

    Shaun,

    Bush CHOSE to appear at Bob Jones University despite full knowledge of their racist and sexist policies.

    McCain CHOSE to praise the endorsement of Hagee despite the full exposure of Hagee’s anti-semitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-Muslim remarks.

    Bush CHOSE a horrifically unqualified crony to head FEMA.

    The things that Bush and McCain are choosing to do are just as bad if not worse, yet the Right has no problem with them. Why? They are hypocrites. Just look at Rush “I’m a drug addict” Limbaugh who has railed against liberals with similar problems for years.

  55. YoYo says:

    Casey.

    Did John Kerry’s pastor commit child abuse?? Dis W’s pastor condone gay marriage??

    When you can answer yes to those two questions, then they’re comparable. Until then, nice try.

    A&A

    If you sit in a church year after year and listen to your pastor or priest or rabbi or whatever spout hateful things and you do NOTHING, then yes you are agreeing with the things that are being said. There’s nothing holding you in that seat.

  56. YoYo says:

    What frosts my ass is when people imply I’m racist for not voting for Obama. It hasn’t been overt on this blog, but it’s very apparent in everyday life.

    I have nothing perosonal against Obama, he’s probably a really nice guy. What I do not like are his extreme left leaning policies and views and the direction he will take this country. Period.

  57. Sandy Underpants says:

    Only in a Republicans brain can a Military man serve 2 tours of duty in Vietnam and be awarded 3 purple hearts and a bronze star and still be considered more cowardly than a guy who’s father got him out of his active duty responsibilities and into the non-combative National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam.

    If Obama said he completely agreed with Reverend Wright, he would still beat John McSame and Hillary Clinton because Americans are THAT desperate for a change, and people aren’t stupid enough to care more about a goofy pastor over a senile old fart who wants to keep us in Iraq for another 100 years.

    Cable news has been playing Rev. Wright’s most inflamatory sound bytes for the last 6 weeks straight and Obama STILL has a 4 point lead against McSame in the general election polls.

    Obama doesn’t want to make this a racial issue, but I will. White people trying to tie Rev. Wright’s opinions to Obama are a clear indication of thriving racism in America, as is the Sean Bell verdict. White people come up with the weakest arguments to continue their racists lives and get away with it still. We can’t vote for a black man because his preacher said naughty things. Four unarmed black men can get shot up with more than 50 bullets because “We thought they had guns”. LOL. You guys are completely pathetic, thank god there isn’t enough of you left to continue this POV for much longer.

  58. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Okay. Why hasn’t John McCain denounced/disowned Antonin Scalia’s remarks about torture not being cruel and unusual punishment?

  59. Anonymous says:

    DING! DING! We have a winner for the dumbest fucking question so far today. Congratulations to Angrier and Angrier.

  60. Duck says:

    See !? They just can’t stop.

    No one blasted Kerry for supporting child abuse after the Church scandal because he remained Catholic ? WTFork ? Bernard Law’s incompetence notwithstanding, I don’t recall him giving a homily on the moral propriety of pedophelia. God Damn Non-Pedophiliacs ! ?

  61. Father Time says:

    In the vast span of history – eons upon eons – this time, i.e., Spring 2008, shall be known as:

    “The Age of Liberals Flailing, Clawing, Crying, and Wetting in 3 foot deep water as if they’re drowning.”

    Let it be written.

  62. Aycee Eliu says:

    I think it’s about time Angrier change his name to Indignant and Indignanter. Or maybe Bitter and Bitterrer ?

  63. David K. says:

    Look, its really simple, pretty much all the right wingers who comment on here are never going to be satisfied with anything Obama says about this or any other issue short of professing his man-love for Dubya and throwing his support behind John McCain while taking a shotgun and shooting an abortion doctor and a death row inmate while waving an American flag and waterboarding Hillary Clinton (ok maybe we ALL want to see that last part).

  64. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Duck basically makes my point for me. Nobody is attacking Hillary or McCain the way they are Obama over this “guilt by association” thing. I mean, Hillary’s husband had a blow job in the Oval Office and embarrassed the crap out of her before the entire nation. Why isn’t she being blasted for not divorcing the guy?

    Would someone please explain the special treatment Obama is getting on this issue that Hillary or McCain isn’t? I have an idea, but I would like to get the take of the neo-con nutcases first.

  65. Mike says:

    There are plenty of reasons to support an Obama candidacy (just as there are plenty of reasons to prefer one of the other options). However, I argue that it’s not a good idea to try to stake your support in an idea of Obama not pandering. He’s a politician. He may pander less than some–perhaps less than all the other options, though I’ve not checked into it enough detail to say that this is necessarily the case–but pander he still does. His statements about an alleged vaccination-autism link (pandering shared by all 3 major candidates). His support of increases in corn-derived ethanol as a fuel source (currently a massively bad idea from a scientific standpoint. All 3 of the major candidates have said positive things about corn ethanol, though McCain and Clinton both have some prior history of opposing it). These are cases of telling potentially politically important groups of people what they want to hear, despite clear evidence that what they want to hear is factually wrong.

    If you want to make the case that he panders less than other politicians, you’ve got a good shot at it. Telling people in the rust belt that their high-paying manufacturing jobs requiring little formal education are never coming back is a good choice for Exhibit A, especially because of the importance of states like PA and OH in the November election. But that’s not the same thing as blanketly stating he doesn’t pander. There are cases where he clearly does, which is simply to be expected from a politician. That isn’t such a strike against him in my book — I’ll be deciding who I want to be President, not who I want to be Inspiring Public Speaker — but it may disillusion some.

  66. Alasdair says:

    Casey @ 11:54 – there is at least a third choice – and that is, in addition to Senator Obama posssibly being “either a closet black radical, or a coward who sat meekly while his country was maligned by a voice speaking with moral authority.” – I, for one, give him ‘credit’ for possibly being someone who is, as a practising politician, is content to sit through Wright’s sermonising without any indication of disagreement precisely because of the ‘credit by association’ that he, Senator Obama, could accrue through Wright and his church … not a coward at all, but rather a significantly cynical and driven opportunist …

    One who is, at the moment, trying to take on Senator Clinton who is the very paragon of those characteristics … which makes Senator Obama majorly dumb to take Senator Clinton on in her areas of strength …

  67. Alasdair says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Obama is starting to sound more and more like Al Gore, Lite ? (In everything except melanin content ? Tho, if Saint Al gets himself a good tan, Obama could aspire to be Al Gore, Lite – in all ways …) …

    Obama is starting to sound more and more as though he, too, has been replaced by an animatronic copy of the real original Senator Barack Obama … and, at that, a copy that is being programmed by one of Al Gore’s leading animatronic programmers …

  68. David K. says:

    not a coward at all, but rather a significantly cynical and driven opportunist …

    Yeah, there is not even the remote possiblity that he attended the church to you know, attend the church, and there is no possibility that the sermons delivered while he was in attendence weren’t typically like this, nope, no chance, it must all be for evil diabolical purposes! Gosh, i’m so glad we have Alasdair to add to the rational discourse around here, if we didn’t we might not realize Obama’s life long plan to dupe the public by going to church, i mean heck, church going is such a rare thing, i mean really who do you know these days that does that??

  69. Sandy Underpants says:

    So should we assume the neo-con nutcases don’t have an answer or just aren’t aware that they are neo-con nutcases?

    I’m fairly certain that most of us in the blogosphere are aware that Rupert Murdoch has endorsed Hillary Clinton and he has stated that she is who he wants to win the presidency this year and Newscorp (Fox News/New York Post/WSJ/everything pretty much) is owned by Murdoch and he’s dictating the news that is reported daily through his outlets.

    It’s comforting to know the leanings of powerful and influential billionaires, however it’s unfortunate that they use their power and influence to manipulate the political climate. Knowledge is power, and the ability to deprive information from billions must be the most powerful weapon going today.

  70. Alasdair says:

    SU – the dirty digger tends to the conservative side, usually – except, of course, when profit is involved …

  71. one says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about with the following: “the politics of

    conspiratorial victimhood ”

    Get a life, go visit Tulia, Texas just don’t use drugs including medications

  72. one says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about with the following: “the politics of

    conspiratorial victimhood ”

    Get a life, go visit Tulia, Texas just don’t use drugs including medications

  73. Alasdair says:

    David K

    Let’s see …

    SWMBO does, religiously … n daughters do, for n=0 to 4 (it’s a sort-of-time-dependent variable) … personally, I’m a horizontal parishioner – I stay home, resting, on Sunday mornings, making sure no-one steals our home while the wimmin are at church …

    Being of the lapsed Presbyterian flavour, myself, I know of many who, when the meeneester is not to their liking, they visit the other churches of the same or similar denomination in the area, and then they pick whichever one best fits with their own beliefs … I (and they) would only attend the sermons of someone like Rev Wright to see what all the fuss was about … sorta like attending one of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Rallies back in the pre-WWII days …

    With a 20 year record of attendance, it would seem that Senator Obama has demonstrated that Senator Obama shares beliefs with Reverend Wright …

    Or are you saying that you believe that Senator Obama was pulling a 1988-Ronald-Reagan, Alzheimer’s-ly nodding off on a frequent basis in the Senatorial Pew ?

    I tend to suspect that the sermons fitted with the general ‘culture’ of the Pastor, which ends up expressed in the sermons sold on CDs or DVDs, in the Parish Communications, whether web-site or printed materials … and that Pastor expressed himself clearly in his ‘tour’, where, in the background, his ‘security’ detail were the Nation-of-Islam Whatever-colour-shirts, again, remarkably reminiscent of a Sir Oswald Mosley Rally … (Sir Oswald favoured Black for his shirts, if I recall correctly) …

    I also know that this whole thing could have been rendered insignificant right at the get-go by simply showing that most of Rev Wright’s sermons are following the general Love Thy Neighbour And Even Thine Enemy line … heck, or even if *some* of ’em did … unfortunately, it seems to be WAY too easy to find examples of Rev Wright declaiming how Colour-1 is oppressing Colour-2, so Colour-2 is supposed to rise up and smite Colour-1 … which sorta just a tad goes directly agains the “When Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane cuts off the Roman soldier’s ear, Jesus heals him and he is converted. “ example set by Jesus, would you not agree ?

    Please feel free to bend over backwards to give Senator Obama the benefit of the doubt … it’s just a tad undignified when you do it all the way to the full Internal Auditor position …

    {Internal Auditor position – wherein one’s head is firmly and resolutely inserted as far as possible into one’s own Democratic Party symbolic}

  74. Andrew says:

    David, Obama is asking us to believe that, based on a few snippets and sound bytes, the American public knows more about the dark side of Rev. Wright than he ever did after sitting in that church for twenty years. That’s a tall presumption to swallow, if you ask me. In fact, there’s ample evidence to suggest that Obama didn’t divorce from Rev. Wright until after he checked the polls — how very Clinton-esque! Apparently, when Obama said in Iowa, “My main opponent in this race isn’t other candidates–it’s cynicism,” it was actually a closet reference to the old adage, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

  75. Duck says:

    David,

    In your hypo, does Obama merely wound the abortionist or are we talking about a clean kill ?

  76. Andrew says:

    I don’t know, Duck, I wasn’t sure about that one either. Either way, I’d probably settle for Obama shooting David.

  77. Brendan says:

    Are we advocating inter-blog violence now? Tsk, tsk.

  78. Duck says:

    I quack, I quack !

  79. Andrew says:

    You mean Obama has a blog?

    You’ll have to pardon my callous comments, I just got back from the clinic and have yet to wash the blood off my hands. Oh, did I mention I reported my neighbors to ICE, stole a bum’s change, and bought a Hummer? Not a bad day’s work! Speaking of intra-blog violence, maybe I’ll top it off by having Peking Duck for a late dinner….

  80. Sissy Willis says:

    Interesting thesis. Trackback didn’t seem to work, so here’s my take:

    Pope reframes core message of his papacy

  81. Eric says:

    Mr. Loy I read your post on the Rev. Wright issue and I am laughing my ass off because you truly don’t know a thing about African- Americans. Most A.A. agree with what Rev. Wright said and for your assertion that there is a black community you are wrong on all counts, there has not been a “black community” since the mid-70’s and Obama is not the leader of A.A.nor is Sharpton, Jackson or any one else for that matter.

    Mr. Loy, I don’t remember going into the voting booth 3 1/2 years ago and there a list of candidates for the “Black Leader”. Sen. Obama must be speaking for himself and what Rev. Wright said was not victim- oriented black politics but the real, raw truth about America and it’s values about how it treats certain minorities and foriegn policy. When whites like you stop “BULLSHITTING” then we can have true dialouge but I doubt that because White Americans are so condesending towards Blacks like myself and others who think diffrent than Obama.

  82. Alasdair says:

    Eric – there is just as much a “black community” as there is a monolithic “White American” …

    The folks who are “so condesending towards Blacks” are the folks who take the “black community” vote for granted and the “black community” who give them that vote so that they can take it for granted !

    Personally, in Medicine, I don’t care as much what a doctor’s bedside manner is, as long as his outcomes are excellent … in Politics, I don’t care as much what a politician’s words are, as I care what the *results* of his votes are …

    By all means, the “black community” has the right to vote 90%+ for one Party – however, by doing so, they forfeit any rights to complain when the other Party doesn’t do anything special for them … and they forfeit any rights to complain when the Party they voted for takes ’em for granted and doesn’t do much of anything useful for ’em …

  83. Eric says:

    Now I can see why 1000 blacks died in New Orleans, I will make sure of that the next time I advocate for racial separation. Since you are saying the GOP deserved to kill “those BLACK people” because they didn’t vote Rethugican those men, women an children deserved their fate, then I thank you Alasdair for telling the truth about your race and politcal party.

  84. David K. says:

    there has not been a “black community” since the mid-70’s

    Yeah Brendan, seriously, if there were a black community there’d be a black television network, black awards shows, an organization of black congressmen, special black groups at colleges even organizations dedicated solely to blacks.

    When whites like you stop “BULLSHITTING” then we can have true dialouge but I doubt that because White Americans are so condesending towards Blacks like myself and others who think diffrent than Obama.

    How exactly is there supposed to be a true dialogue when you stereotype and generalize like that. People like Sharpton and Wright don’t help the situation, they inflame it by blaming everyone but themselves for their problems and making race an issue everywhere they go.

    If you REALLY want a dialogue you first have to accept that people of all colors have a right to have opinions about the situation, and that merely having an opinion you as a black person disagree with, doesn’t make them racist.

  85. Duck says:

    Eric, you are pretty dim witted to draw that inference from Alasdair’s statement. I bet you agree with Kanye West, huh ? You are the enemy of the progress you seek.

  86. Duck says:

    Eric, you are pretty dim witted to draw that inference from Alasdair’s statement. I bet you agree with Kanye West, huh ? You are the enemy of the progress you seek. I guess I am a racist though, for criticizing you right ? Everyone’s a racist who doesn’t think like you ? See how much fun generalizations can be ??

  87. Duck says:

    I recommend this website for the most hard hitting thought provoking racial commentary since Don’t be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.

    This guy LIVES race. Seriously, I think this is the Race-conscious version of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    http://www.newsoula.blogspot.com/

    (i.e. Eric’s fantastic blog).

  88. Andrew says:

    How are you still posting, Duck? I thought I ate you last night….

    I say let this thread die, finally. I need to get back to doing all the things that evil conservatives/Republicans do. Did I mention I tossed a pack of cigarettes to some black kids on my way home from the Hummer dealership last night? Of course, this was after I came home from work with my extra bonus for saving the company money by outsourcing half the department to a sweatshop in Thailand and giving the order to bury our toxic waste in the brownfield next to the brand new elementary school.

  89. Eric says:

    I thought conservatives were educated but now I met Duck I can see it’s merely a lie. Well at least I say what’s on my mind and don’t kowtow to whites like you. Now let me watch baseball and see what that steroid – addled white redneck Clemmons is boning next. It hasn’t been a pleasure Duck or the rest of you condesending white conservative phonies.

    I would rather deal with Adoplh Hitler and Osama Bin Laden at least they were/are more honest unlike you pithy whiteboys.

  90. David K. says:

    Meaningful dialogue on race eh Eric? Guess you blew that idea out of the water…

  91. Godwin's Law says:

    Well folks, hate to break it to you but thats it, this thread is officially over. I’ve been waiting to show up, so congrats to you all for holding out this long, i’m sure we’ll meet again real soon.