May 1, 2008

The "long and painful falling out" between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright — and what made Obama snap.

At the NYT, Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor have background on the Obama's decision to speak out more forcefully against Jeremiah Wright:
Late Monday night, in the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, N.C., Barack Obama’s long, slow fuse burned to an end. Earlier that day he had thumbed through his BlackBerry, reading accounts of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s latest explosive comments on race and America. But his remarks to the press this day had amounted to a shrug of frustration.

Only in this hotel room, confronted with the televised replay of the combustible pastor, did the candidate realize the full import of the remarks, his aides say.
Yes, there really was something infuriating about Wright's smirks and mannerisms. You could bend over backwards and excuse the text — if you were so inclined — but on the video, it's unmistakable that Wright has contempt for Obama and fully intended to harm him.
[The] long and painful falling out [was] marked by a degree of mutual incomprehension, friends and aides say. It began at the moment Mr. Obama declared his candidacy, when he abruptly uninvited his pastor from delivering an invocation, injuring the older man’s pride and fueling his anger....

Only a few years ago, the tightness of the bond between Mr. Obama and Mr. Wright was difficult to overstate....

In this learned and radical pastor, Mr. Obama found a guide who could explain Jesus and faith in terms intellectual no less than emotional, and who helped a man of mixed racial parentage come to understand himself as an African-American. “Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black,” Mr. Obama wrote in his autobiography “Dreams From My Father.”

At the same time, as Mr. Obama’s friends and aides now acknowledge, he was aware that, shorn of their South Side Chicago context, the words and cadences of a politically left-wing black minister could have a very problematic echo. So Mr. Obama haltingly distanced himself from his pastor.
Read the whole article. There's too much to excerpt. One key point is that Wright blames David Axelrod:
[Wright] repeatedly mentioned Mr. Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, saying that while he was expert at promoting black candidates with white voters, he did not know much about relating to the black community.

“They’re spiriting him away from people in the African-American community,” Mr. Wright said, “David doesn’t know the African-American church scene.”
And Powell and Kantor credit (or blame) blogs for keeping the controversy alive:
Blogs, and a few print reporters, kept asking questions about Mr. Wright’s politics, his black liberation theology. Snippets of his fiery, soaring sermons began to appear on cable televisions and in blog posts.
We learn that that the cruise, which had Wright out-of-touch at the time of Obama's Philadelphia speech, was long planned, not a convenient exile. Wright "returned to find his name a term of opprobrium all across the nation." (Don't cruise ships have TV and newspapers and internet connection? If you were Wright, wouldn't you be monitoring what people were saying about you?)
Mr. Wright... wanted only to explain himself.
Not to punish Obama?
His first steps seemed to go well enough, particularly a relatively temperate interview with Bill Moyers on PBS. But at the National Press Club on Monday, Mr. Wright took a few questions, and his scholarly mien fell away.

“His initial statement was fine,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church in Chicago and a friend of Mr. Wright. “But the questions caused a response from Reverend Wright that I wasn’t expecting.”

Mr. Wright seemed to sense nothing wrong. A friend said he appeared buoyant and relieved afterward.
He got high off the crowd somehow. Manic. He thought he was doing fine.
But a couple hundred miles south, Mr. Obama was soon seething.
"Soon" is funny. It took him a long time to get mad. But it looks like a very personal kind of mad. It's not so much that Wright's ideas were anti-American and his politics were extremist and left-wing. Obama had to have known that from a 20-year association with the man (unless he only had the association for appearances and political advancement and never really cared what Wright thought). Obama got mad, it seems, because he could see that Wright meant to hurt him and was getting fired up moving for the kill.

92 comments:

rhhardin said...

Obama didn't strike me as any kind of mad at all. He's just doing what seems best for Obama.

He'll be back with Rev Wright after the election.

AllenS said...

One key point is that Wright blames David Axelrod.

Wright understands that white liberals are doing them like Bill Clinton did to Monica Lewinski. Ridin dirty.

Pogo said...

An Oedipal battle for the hand of that fickle queen, power.

TMink said...

Good one Pogo!

It is so offensive to me how people who have never spent time in a church congregation lable and speak of the African-American church as a single entity.

This is a gross and ignorant error. There are black Presbyterians where the women wear hats to church and the only things on fire are the candles, there are black snake handlers, black Unitarians, black Pentecostals, black liberation theology types that are more interested in government than Jesus and so on and so on.

There is no black church, there are churches where the people who attend are primarily black, but those organizations are diverse and varied.

I thought those liberal types got all hot and bothered about diversity.

Trey

gophermomeh said...

I suspect that Obama knows what he believes, more than we do. And the fact that he didn’t respond, with enough vigor for some, to Wright’s anti-American and extremists opinions, tells me that he didn’t own those views, himself.

When push came to shove and Wright began attacking his core and his true beliefs, is when Obama decided he had had enough. This is where the cons of the relationship began to outweigh the pros. Prior to this, I’m sure Obama knew of these opinions, but they were overlooked because the rest of the this personal relationship (of which we know nothing about) is what he valued more.

TMink said...

"One key point is that Wright blames David Axelrod:"

Of course Wright does! Wright is a racist and Axelrod is white. Just like the Klan blames the Jews and blacks. Different cast, same script.

Trey

Fen said...

There is no black church, there are churches where the people who attend are primarily black, but those organizations are diverse and varied.

Thats a point that I wish could break through all the "noise" about Wright.

When I was in college, media coverage of feminism implied that NOW represented all feminists. It wasn't until I started dating a feminist professor that I learned how wrong that was.

NOW doesn't represent the feminist movement. And the Trinity Madrassa doesn't represent black religious folk.

Meade said...

Althouse: If the Wisconsin primary were next Tuesday, would you still vote for Obama?

Simon said...

gophermomeh - in other words, when Wright was attacking America, Obama was fine with that, and only when Wright started attacking Obama did the latter finally get mad. If that's the upshot of recent events - as it seems to be - that's an appalling commentary on a man seeking the Presidency!

Cato Renasci said...

Several commentators - here and elsewhere on various posts - have been struck by the fact the Rev. Wright doesn't think he's outside the mainstream and doesn't think he's done anything wrong or understand why he is getting the reaction from whites - even some white liberals - that he's getting.

I think the reason for this is Wright's church is affiliated with, and is relatively powerful within (as the single largest congregation) the United Church of Christ (UCC).

The UCC is a primarily white denomination - the result of the 1957 merger of the very WASP Congregational Christian Churches, the heir to the congregational churches of Puritan New England which were strong abolitionists, and the heavily German and Dutch Evangelical and Reformed Church. The Congregationalists have a long history of openness to black preachers and support for civil rights -- even when they were mostly Republicans.

Over the years, however, the national leadership of the UCC has become increasingly left wing, interested in virtually every leftist cause to come along from liberation theology to gay marriage and condemning Israel, while most parishioners have stayed focused on the local church (because the national organization has no authority over the local churches) and have remained a theologically moderate bunch who don't like dogma.

But, the UCC national circles in which Wright moves, and the National Council of Churches circles in which he moves are in large measure very left wing, socialists in most cases and openly Marxist at least in analysis in others, and given to an exteme adherence to multiculturalism and theological and moral relativism (except of course to condemn the United States and Bushitler). So, the whites Wright interacts with on a professional level do not challenge him theologically or intellectually, they affirm him and even look up to him as having been able to grow a tiny failing church into an 8,000 member megachurch at a time when other UCC churches are hemorrhaging members at an alarming rate.

bearbee said...

An Oedipal battle for the hand of that fickle queen, power.

Beautiful!

...he felt dumbfounded, even betrayed, particularly by Mr. Wright’s implication that Mr. Obama was being hypocritical. He could not tolerate that.

The tipping point for Obama was not Wright's beliefs or his message of 20 years, but Obama's sense of betrayal. So much for rifts and healing.

The next afternoon, Mr. Obama held a news conference and denounced his former pastor’s views as “divisive and destructive,” giving “comfort to those who prey on hate.”

I find it difficult to believe that someone with Obama's 'brilliance' had not read Cone's Black Theology of Liberation.

Theirs was a long and painful falling out, marked by a degree of mutual incomprehension, friends and aides say. It began at the moment Mr. Obama declared his candidacy, when he abruptly uninvited his pastor from delivering an invocation,...

“ ‘You can get kind of rough in the sermons,’ ” Mr. Wright said Mr. Obama told him. "

His denials of knowing about Wright's bigotry and anti-American rhetoric are shakey.

Simon said...

Cato Renasci said...
"Several commentators ... have been struck by the fact the Rev. Wright doesn't think he's outside the mainstream...."

My experience has been that people on the left tend to believe that they and their friends are just a little to the left of center, no matter how far from the mainstream a fair reading would place them. Perhaps the mirror-image is also true on the right (anecdote is not the plural of data) but that's not been my experience.

"The Congregationalists have a long history of openness to black preachers and support for civil rights -- even when they were mostly Republicans."

"Even when"? History shows that it was members of the Democratic Party who did at least as much (if not more) to oppose civil rights generally and the Civil Rights Act politically.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama is wimpy- that is why he took so long to react. And he did not sound outraged to me.

Hillary is tougher than Obama and Obama is not tough enough to be president.

Is it possible Hillary was the tough ingredient in the Clinton presidency? As I have always thought Bill Clinton was wimpy too.

Zeb Quinn said...

Seems to me that for 20 years Obama never cared about or in any way ever expressed any disapproval of the substance of Wright's remarks. At least not until the last few weeks when it became clear that Wright was hurting his candidacy. It was then he started caring. But Wright wasn't about to ease off, saying Obama was just being a politician speaking to an audience. So that's what has Obama miffed at Wright, stating it thusly: "I don't think he showed much concern for me, more importantly I don't think he showed much concern for what we're trying to do in this campaign." Is it really any deeper than this?

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cato Renasci said...

"Even when"? History shows that it was members of the Democratic Party who did at least as much (if not more) to oppose civil rights generally and the Civil Rights Act politically.

Most Congregationalists, including the clergy, were probably Republicans from 1860 through the Progressive Era, at least. There was some move to the left with the social gospel movement when the clergy began to flirt socialism (think the E&R Reinhold Niebuhr), although I'd guess most Congos (as they're colloquially known in New England) in the pews were moderate Rockefeller Republicans at least through the early 1960s, moving to the Democrats (paradoxically) with the civil rights movement, JFK and the Vietnam War. The clergy's move left was probably pretty much completed during the New Deal, though some remained liberal Republicans out of tradition.

It was the Congo Republicans from New England who led the charge for radical Reconstruction in the 1860s and early 1870s, and who provided whatever opposition that existed to Jim Crow and later to Wilson's segregation of the civil service, and it was consistent Republican votes that passed all of the civil rights legislation. And, of course, the first post-Reconstruction black senator was Edward Brooke from Massachusetts.

It's ironic, that the Congregationalists had a long, honorable history of opposition to slavery, opposition to racism, and in favor of black civil rights and integration, but now they're supportive of Black Liberation Theology which is separatist, anti-white, and probably completely incompatible with the closest thing to a foundation document of the Congregational churches, the Westminster Confession.

The Drill SGT said...

The Drill SGT said...
I was struck by a number of thoughts in the latest Wright Eruption.

1. The MSM look like idiots on a number of counts. Ignoring Wright before, gushing about the Obama Philly speech, and just generally being tools of the left wing message.

2. Remember when it first erupted, the Obama and MSM schtick was, snippets out of context, I know the man, he's no racist, and it's just normal black church speechifying.

3. The Philly Speech was "timeless" and compared to Lincoln's best? well Timeless only lasted 6 weeks before it became "inoperative".

4. Why? because uncensored Wright was clearly racist, not taken out of context, and wright whom obama knew well all of a sudden became aradioactive guy, he never really understood or met.

5. When Wright started attacking Obama instead of white people, it got serious, because Wright knows where the bodies are buried.

6. but that wasn't the worst problem, Obama can dance raindrops like a master, but ultimately wright destroys the 3 foundations of the Obama Presidency.

a. Obama doesn't have experience, but he has good judgement.
b. Obama is a post racial bridge builder who can unite, black/white, left/right, rich/poor
c. Obama isn't just an ordinary politcian, who'll tell you anything to get elected. He's a guy of convictions, morals, and faith.

swissbob said...

I think the comment that finally pushed Obama over the edge was the one with Bill Moyers when Wright essentially said " I am a preacher and I say what I have to say and Obama is a politician and he says what he has to say to get elected". As James Taranto over at the WSJ Best of Web keeps remining us, Obama's campaign was built on the notion that he was going to defeat cynicism. There is nothing more cynical than saying a politician will do whatever it takes to get votes. That cut Obama to the core.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

“They’re spiriting him away from people in the African-American community,” Mr. Wright said, “David doesn’t know the African-American church scene.”

In other (not so politically correct words) Obama has gone off of the reservation. Like Condoleeza and others he has become THIS

Rev Wright and others who preach racial hatred and need to keep their "flock" needy, can't have this. So he is purposely destroying the chances of Obama to succeed. There will be no succeeding in Rev Wright's world because success will prove him wrong. If he is proven wrong, then where is he going to get the money to support the lifestyle he has become accustomed to. How will he retain his God like powers over the oppressed blacks when one of them breaks ranks and achieves the highest office in the US?

George said...

I look forward to the home video of Sen. Obama at the Million Man March smiling and/or applauding to a speech by Louis Farrakhan.

I'm also waiting for someone, anyone to interview Prof. Ayers and ask him anything, something about his relationship with Sen. Obama and how long before 1995 it began. Whatever happened to the old fashioned ambush interview? Where is Mike Wallace? How hard can this be? Are there reporters in Chicago? Does the man live underground?

AlphaLiberal said...

Gee, how long can we keep talking about this story?

Funny, Wright is slamming Obama while also hitching his wagon to Obama. Wright is the angry opportunist.

AlphaLiberal said...

George, believe it or not Ayers has a blog and is not holding back on his opinions. Try the Google.

RAM said...

1. In some ways, Obama-Wright 'til now has been like Clinton-Clinton. The relationship began and continued because of its utility.

2. How much, if any, of Wright's blackness shtick really moved Obama is unknowable. The two do appear share a radical leftwing attitude toward America and the world.

RAM said...

1. In some ways, Obama-Wright 'til now has been like Clinton-Clinton. The relationship began and continued because of its utility.

2. How much, if any, of Wright's blackness shtick really moved Obama is unknowable. The two do appear share a radical leftwing attitude toward America and the world.

AlphaLiberal said...

One last comment before I go into that cold workday....

This brouhaha over his former pastor should, at last, put to rest efforts by the right wingers to paint Obama as a Muslim.

Or, it should... Those lying liars keep pushing the meme. They have no shame!

vbspurs said...

Some great commentaries on this thread, led by the Bard of Althouse -- Pogo!

This NYT sentence struck me as hilarious, given what we just saw:

"Mr. Obama found a guide who could explain Jesus and faith in terms intellectual no less than emotional"

"In terms intellectual" and Reverend Wright are a non-sequitur.

He's the type of "intellectual" that gets high on knowing things like what a cluster consonant is, because he wants to prove to white people a black man knows more about "their" language than they do.

WEB DuBois did the same thing (cf. The Souls of Black Folk, but he his depth of learning was truly impressive.

This buffoon and the word intellectual shouldn't be in the same clusterf*ck.

Cheers,
Victoria

gophermomeh said...

From what Obama’s been saying and responding to is that he’s not that ‘fine’ with Wright’s attacking of America. He’s responded, saying that those aren’t his views. That they’re divisive and way over the top. The personal attacks became the tipping point, in this crescendo-ing, circus-like turn of events. Wright was attacking Obama’s beliefs, btw, not Obama. There’s no evidence that Obama hates America – he’ll say it’s not perfect, that we’re not saints – that isn’t hate – it’s a more humbling look at who we are.

Dave said...

alphaliberal, I understand that you're distraught over the Left losing control of what people should pay attention and what they shouldn't, but that plane has left the terminal. Even aside from politics the falling out of Obama and Wright is a 'human interest' story, a telenovela if you will (which is why pogo's comment is so apt) which, unfortunately for Obama and the Left attracts ordinary people who normally wouldn't be paying attention. Now that they are, all the Left's horses and all the Lefts' men can't put Humpty Obama back together again. So, the story will go on as long as people are interested, despite what you or those like you want.

And as for Ayers having a blog, well, whoop-te-do. Does he answer tough questions on it? Blogging is not exactly like being pressed the way Obama was (and, boy, did he not like it) in the last debate. (I still think he's more a Gerry Cooney than a Muhammad Ali.) I want to see Ayers asked some tough questions by a fair interrogator with tough follow-ups when he (as do most of us) weasels.

Cato Renasci said...

There’s no evidence that Obama hates America

The problem is that there is also no evidence that he doesn't, and he has a self-acknowledged lifelong history of associating with those who do hate America: from Frank Marshall Davis (radical black known CPUSA member and his mentor in high school) through radical blacks and faculty at Occidental College, and on Wright and Ayers/Dorhn. And those are just the ones we know something about.

What there is no evidence of, is any influence on Obama from any sources that are ordinarily patriotic (except perhaps the Punahoe faculty?) or reasonably well-connected to the kind of lives led by ordinary Americans who are neither politically radical nor part of the privileged elite of the ivy league universities and law schools.

It may well be that Obama loves America, but the evidence just isn't there. That's why his connections to people like Wright and Ayers/Dorhn and Frank Marshall Davis matter: they show the company that Obama has chosen -- for whatever reasons -- to keep throughout his life.

Achillea said...

"problematic"

*snerk*

Our Paul said...

I spent my glorious pubescent days in NYC (The Bronx, the “t” is always capitalized) and among the many delights I discovered was the political shell game. Got a major problem over her, put it under a shell, add several other shells under which is a ton of nonsense, and twirl it around the table… Or as the man once said, after I climbed the mountain and asked him the eternal question. Warmed only by his flowing white beard, his loin cloth neatly tied at the hips, his cross legged response was: “Keep your eye on the ball.”

And so, a thundering Bronx cheer to Ann, she has mastered the politico shell game of NYC. Her trophy, a free ticket to climb the mountain. Time to ask the eternal question.

McCain has come out with his Health Care plan, put that one under a shell. Things falling apart in Iraq, US using increased bombing in civilian areas, put that one under a shell. Dollar falling of the cliff, linked to the increase in gas prices, put that one under a shell. Here is the shell that we have to keep our eyes on, what Rev. Wright has to say. This, and only this will help us decide our future.

Said it before, and I will say it again. Your wanton interest in the relationship between Obama and his pastor is not contributing to the political discourse. With the multiple problems we are facing why chose this silliness?

But one compliment is in order after scanning the 7:29 post. Prof. Althouse, like this humble correspondent, must have spent part her pubescent years at the Metropolitan.

D said...

Wright's all ready said he's doing a book.

I'm betting that comes with a 7 figure advance from a Hillary friendly publishing company.

KLDAVIS said...

As I said in the thread below,

Obama appears to have the typical genius/intellectual bias toward discounting everyone's judgment but his own.

He couldn't drum up the anger to react without seeing the replay of the speech himself...couldn't take an aides' word for it that this was something he needed to handle now, not tomorrow.

How does that trait play in a President?

former law student said...

Yes, McCain's health care plan means taking my health care plan away and throwing us on the open market. Gee thanks, John.

[fen]I started dating a feminist professor

`I ca'n't believe that!' said Alice.

`Ca'n't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. `Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'

Alice laughed. `There's no use trying,' she said `one ca'n't believe impossible things.'

`I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. `When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Our Paul: Said it before, and I will say it again. Your wanton interest in the relationship between Obama and his pastor is not contributing to the political discourse. With the multiple problems we are facing why chose this silliness?

Feel free to start your own blog and be intereasting enough to attract readers on those issues which you feel do contribute to the political discourse. I'm pretty sure Ann's not aiming to do what you want her to do.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Gee, how long can we keep talking about this story?"

Until we win: Obama drops out or is defeated. If Obama had thrown Wright under the bus in Philly, this story would be dead - but that was his one and only chance to do so. When he failed to seize that chance, it created a situation where there was no way that this tory wasn't going to go into meltdown eventually. The question for him is whether it can be contained: he's so close to wrapping up the nomination that it may be too late to stop him, and if he's very lucky, maybe the heat will die down by the fall.

Trooper York said...

former law student said....
(fen]I started dating a feminist professor
`I can't believe that!' said Alice

Well I bet she had a really nice rack. You will put up with a lot for that. Plus opposites attract and angry political sex can be a lot of fun.

Pogo said...

angry political sex

It's the only explanation for the Clinton marriage longevity.

franglosaxon said...

My question is, if Obama is able to win despite this, will people EVER shut up about Rev. Wright? Will it EVER stop being talked about, will any other aspect of Obama and his administration catch your attention? Will you stew in this viscous murk of pre-judgement forever; will you be early adopters of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) before the first executive action is even taken? Will libel about radicalism, islam, black liberation be the stock-in-trade of wingnut bloggers for years to come? I have to say I'd be surprised if what we're seeing now isn't just a prelude to a coming orgy of idiocy, hate and defamation.

I hope sensible non-partisans realize that while Obama has his flaws, any Democratic candidate would be considered the devil by this sucking tornado of noise on the right. There is too much at stake defending moneyed interests, military adventures, and the advancement of greed that brooks no consideration of how to maintain and nurture society (Burkean conservatism). I hope reasonable conservatives can see that Obama is the closest philosophically to true conservatism, the careful preservation of social bonds and traditions.

But I doubt it. Nothing Obama does can satisfy. To quote the fine blogger dna at Too Sense:

"What people want is not for Obama to denounce Wright, but to denounce black people everywhere who have the gall to be angry at America for how they are and have been treated. What they wanted Obama to say was that racism is uneqivocally a black problem, that white people have moved past it but that black people cling to greivances as an excuse for out of wedlock births, unemployment, or incarceration.

It doesn't matter that rhetorically and policy-wise, Obama has struck the right balance between personal and governmental responsibility. It doesn't matter that he's confronted black anti-Semitism, black homophobia, black apathy. When Obama dared to mention that white people might harbor irrational prejudices of their own--he was pilloried by conservatives and liberals everywhere who don't want to feel guilty suspecting every black teenager of being a drug dealer for "throwing his grandmother under the bus."

They didn't want him to condemn Wright, they wanted him to condemn black people. So of course they're not satisfied. For all the talk of how white people are attracted to Obama and the alleged "absolution" he could offer them, what they really want is for him to publicly shift the blame for the racial divide squarely on the shoulders of the black community, so white people can stop thinking about it.

And he didn't do that, so they're not happy."

Crimso said...

"My question is, if Obama is able to win despite this, will people EVER shut up about Rev. Wright?"

Yes. But don't expect it to happen until we no longer have to hear about how Al Gore won in 2000.

"With the multiple problems we are facing why chose this silliness?"

In an effort to prevent the electorate of this country from being hoodwinked into voting for ANYONE, so long as it's not Bush. Believe it or not, some people believe there are worse things than Bush as POTUS. Mainly those of us who remember the Carter years (which was also a rush into disaster in an effort to achieve Hope and Change).

Crimso said...

"Obama has struck the right balance between personal and governmental responsibility"

Openly claiming that he'll raise taxes on people not because it will increase revenues but because of "fairness"="the right balance?" Next stop: Zimbabwe.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You can always recognize True Conservatives by how liberal they are.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"What people want is not for Obama to denounce Wright, but to denounce black people everywhere who have the gall to be angry at America for how they are and have been treated. What they wanted Obama to say was that racism is uneqivocally a black problem, that white people have moved past it but that black people cling to greivances as an excuse for out of wedlock births, unemployment, or incarceration.


Actually, what I want is for Obama and everyone else to stfu about race and concentrate on just what exactly are the qualifications that would make anyone consider him as a candidate for President.

Because we don't know much about his ideas other than changehope or his policies on fiscal and international relations, we have to extrapolite by evidence that we can see. i.e. his decades long relationship with race baiters, American haters and terrorists

franglosaxon said...

dbq, the reason "all you know" about Obama is "his decades long relationship with race baiters, American haters and terrorists" is the same reason that "all you know" about Kerry is that he's a french windsurfing traitor and "all you know" about Gore is that he's a lying robotic nerd. "All you know" about non-republicans is whatever the republicans tell you. So no wonder that's "all you know."

I'd suggest attempting to grope towards an independent thought.

garage mahal said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Gee, how long can we keep talking about this story?"


Gee, two years ago he was lecturing liberals that they were inadequate and have failed in the marriage of faith in politics. Now, his faith is brought to the forefront in a damaging way and now it's a distraction and he wants a divorce!

What you mean Alpha is that only Obama and his supporters can talk about it. He'll give his speech or press conference and that should be the end of it. So if he wants everyone to stop talking about it, why is always talking about it!

tom swift said...

"In this learned and radical pastor, Mr. Obama found a guide who could explain Jesus and faith in terms intellectual no less than emotional, and who helped a man of mixed racial parentage come to understand himself as an African-American."

Interesting. It looks like Obama started to go wrong when he decided that being an American wasn't good enough for him; he was going to become an African-American. But his judgement was poor, and he picked perhaps the worst possible mentor, a man who fed him easy answers to hard questions. And because of that, Obama will never be the American President.

If he'd stayed American, now - not half-assed hyphenated American - he'd still be in the running. Speaking as an American - not a half-assed hyphenated American - that's what I want to see in the office, and that's what I'll vote for. Nothing less.

The Drill SGT said...

DBQ said...Because we don't know much about his ideas other than changehope or his policies on fiscal and international relations, we have to extrapolite by evidence that we can see

Well we do know his foreign policy is to go anywhere and meet with any enemy of the US without preconditions to advance the cause of peace and raise our stature in the world.

However debating the Great Satan Hillary another time in NC would be too much to ask.

franglosaxon said...

Tom Swift. Let me guess. You're white.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'd suggest attempting to grope towards an independent thought.

I also suggest that the so called journalists actually do their job of vetting the candidates (all of them) and give us some information that is useful in making a decision on which one of these bozos people should vote for. (Disclaimer. I'm not going to vote for any of these idiots and that included McCain but I still think we deserve to know about the candidates)

I could also suggest that the candidates give us something other than gaseous speeches full of meaningless soundbites that pander to whomever they happen to be standing in front of at the time.

I know plenty (being personal friends with people who knew him in Vietnam) about Kerry and his disgraceful, cowardly,traitorous and hateful actions while in the military. I also know plenty about Gore's profiteering from the so called global warming hype he has ginned up.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Let me guess. You're white.

Don't worry, Tom, they haven't enforced that law in years.

franglosaxon said...

Re: Tom, Not being snarky! I am genuinely curious. If I'm wrong it could help disabuse me of a notion; that most white people don't think of themselves as having an ethnicity, or a particular culture beyond the "normal" one.

Pogo said...

franglosaxon: "Let me guess. You're white.",

What difference does it make?
I try to live as if we are a nation in which people are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

The only way to stop racial discrimination is to stop discriminating by race.

But the left gets too much out of discrimination to let it go, hence the Wright bloviations. Favoritism for minorities has not brought racial peace, and cannot do so.

Cato Renasci said...

franglosaxon: It ought not matter whether Tom Swift is black, yellow, white or red or some mixture of all of them.

The entire genius of America is that our ideal (however imperfect in practice) has always been based on the notion of fundamental equality before the law. The true spirit of America is that one's identity as an American, based upon commitment to the ideals of liberty and representative limited government, is more important than any other identity one might have as a Virginian, New Yorker, Englishwoman, Scot, German, African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, etc., etc.

No one who puts him- or herself forward for president whose primary identity is not American without any qualifier has a prayer of being elected.

Paul said...

"No one who puts him- or herself forward for president whose primary identity is not American without any qualifier has a prayer of being elected."

Well at least until bigots like franglosaxon are able to achieve an electoral majority, which our multi-culti identity politics based Gramscian public schools and universities are feverishly working towards.

Simon said...

franglosaxon said...
"My question is, if Obama is able to win despite this, will people EVER shut up about Rev. Wright?"

If the answer is "no," the raison d'etre of Obama's campaign evaporates.

The answer is no.

"It doesn't matter that rhetorically and policy-wise, Obama has struck the right balance between personal and governmental responsibility.

That's his (and I suppose your) opinion. It isn't a fact, and it's not an opinion that's widely-held. It's an opinion held by roughly one half of one political party, a political party that comprises roughly one half of the politically engaged people in this country, a group which in turn comprises roughly one half of America at large.

garage mahal said...
"Gee, two years ago [Obama] was lecturing liberals that they were inadequate and have failed in the marriage of faith in politics. Now, his faith is brought to the forefront in a damaging way and now it's a distraction and he wants a divorce!"

And don't forget - he and his wife think our souls are broken! F*ck you, Michelle, I think your soul is broken! Maybe we should ask Obama if he agrees with his wife - if he stays true to form, he'll give an obfuscatory and irrelevant speech about race and throw her under the bus next month.

former law student said...

No one who puts him- or herself forward for president whose primary identity is not American without any qualifier has a prayer of being elected.

While this is motherhood and the flag, I'm pretty sure it's untrue. If you're a Democrat who wants to be President, you'd best be a Southerner. In fact, even Republicans have a hard time winning without a Southern connection.

KeesKennis said...

Sorry Althouse, throw me out if I offend.
PC have stopped a lot of discourse taking place in the USA.
I cant't vote in this election, but a lot is at stake for me.
To 'franglosaxon' and some others.
The other day the Rev. Wright had speech about Left and Right brains and you all called him RACIST, as you called Larry Summers sexist, when he spoke the truth about men/woman/sex/math. (I can lend LS a set of balls if he asks me)
I support the Rev in his conclusion of black=right, white=left brain, not in his hatred of the USA, and of course every stereotype has it pitfalls.

I quote myself.

"100 thousand years ago some early humans left Africa and ended up in Europe where the wheather was not as kind as where they came from. For starters they had to plan ahead and save food for the winter. The art of planning ahead was born.
Their fellows back in Africa were living of the land all year round."
End of quote.
I can tell you how many of my friends is as black as the ace of spades and that I know more black peeps than white. I won't. That will not be PC.
I have seen the ruins of comunism/socialism and must speak.
If Obama is not a hard core socialist I will eat my lounge carpet.

Trooper York said...

DUDE, posting all the way from Africa, way cool.

But using that picture of Hillary as your avatar kind of lets us know that you will be voting for her, ya know what I mean.

amba said...

Not too long ago I came across the fact that two kinds of mailboxes we still use were invented by African American inventors. This led to a whole world of black inventors and scientists, some the children or slaves, or even slaves who sold their patented inventions and bought their freedom. (Black inventors were not allowed to hold patents until 1870.)

These people endured atrocious, despicable discrimination and yet persisted in contributing to society in general. (The first open-heart surgery and the synthesis of cortisone were achievements of African Americans.) Now that opportunities are more widespread, and legal protections against institutionalized racism in place, some in the black community seem to have more trouble seizing these opportunities, which are legally theirs, than some of their enslaved and excluded forefathers who faced such overwhelming discouragement.

When people are going through major trauma, they cope. Only afterwards, in safety, do the nightmares start. It's almost as if today's black community is suffering a kind of delayed collective post-traumatic stress disorder from the horrors endured by their great-grandparents. When you are living through a horror you can't afford to dwell on it, but then you may dwell on it, at least subconsciously, for the rest of your life. And this may be the kind of ancestral sour grapes that sets the children's teeth on edge.

That said, the ailment has been prolonged and exacerbated by an opportunistic class of "therapists" (Sharpton, Wright) who profit from the perpetuation of trauma and encourage the sufferer to believe s/he is too wounded to cope.

AlphaLiberal said...

John Hagee, endorser of John McCain, who still welcomes the endorsement:

"As a nation, America is under the curse of God, even now. Look at the scriptures and see for yourself. The stand we have taken on abortion, the stand we have taken against God in our classrooms, just may have sealed or doom."

But, hey, he's white and a right-wing whacko. So, it's okay.

Don't look for the MSM to cover this.

AlphaLiberal said...

garage reads minds:

"What you mean Alpha is that only Obama and his supporters can talk about it."

Uh, no. I'm pretty clear on what I mean and don't need your dishonest misrepresentation of it, thanks.

In other news,

Wash. Post and NY Times published more than 12 times as many articles mentioning Obama and Wright as they did mentioning McCain and Hagee

Nothing biased there from the corporate media. Oh, no.

Pogo said...

Alpha, it's just not going to stick, for all sorts of reasons, most of which have been rehashed here to you repeatedly.

But keep tryin'!

AlphaLiberal said...

Yeah, there have been lots of denials and evasions over this. But even Newt Gingrich admitted to a double standard. And your comment is just more same-o lame-o.

To you, I guess there's a world of difference between a god placing a "curse on America" (Hagee, in a full chapter on the subject) and "God damn America" (Wright, in a sermon).

What's the real difference here? Only bad when the black guy does it? Or only bad when the Democrat receives support from the America-hater?

Pogo said...

What's the real difference here?

20 years.

Oh, and that Wright was Obama's pastor, friend, spiritual adviser, and mentor. And married him to Michelle. And baptized his daughters. And provided the title for his book.

Other than that, nothing.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What's the real difference here?

Probably a waste of pixels, but the real difference is that Obama spent 20 years voluntarily attending church where he heard these types of comments (unless he was sleeping through the sermons) AND that he claimed Rev Wright as his spiritual mentor AND had his children baptized by the Rev. AND has claimed a close personal friendship....well at least up until the past few days :-)

McCain on the other hand did NOT spend 20 years attending Rev Hagee's church nor has he claimed any type of close relationship with him or claim him as his personal spiritual advisor.

Lots of people probably endorse both Obama and McCain that they don't even know or who they wouldn't really like to go bowling with.

It's kind of like those children's puzzles where you try to spot the item that is not like the other items. I bet you can do that.

AlphaLiberal said...

Funny you would go there, Pogo. I was just reviewing some opinion on that.

First, John McCain continues to embrace the hate monger John Hagee:
"I’m very proud to have Pastor Hagee’s support."

And, from John Nichols:
Hagee, whose views about a host of social issues give new meaning to the term "hateful," is not McCain's pastor. They have no personal or spiritual relationship. Rather, Hagee is a close political ally of McCain and an ardent supporter of the Arizona senator's presidential bid.

McCain sought Hagee's endorsement and continued to defend and embrace the pastor – saying he was "glad to have the minister's endorsement – even after Hagee said that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans because of the city's "sinful" acceptance of homosexuality.
...snip for space...
What is not open to interpretation is the fact that McCain has wed himself to Hagee politically. The senator is not linked to minister on spiritual grounds, he is linked to him on political and policy grounds.


That McCain would go to such lengths to seek and endorsement of Hagee (which Obama did not do from Wright, note) should give Americans great alarm over what policies McCain will push if he takes the White House.

Simon said...

To Pogo and DBQ's comments above, I'd also add all the money Obama's given Wright. And while this isn't to defend Hagee in the slightest, he is distinguishable in this regard: his greivances with America are for things that America has actually done, e.g. legalized abortion, whereas Wright's greivances are in the main the product of paranoid delusions, e.g. "whitey created aids to kill blacks." His greivance with the catholic church, however, does seem to be ludicrous, so far as I can tell.

AlphaLiberal said...

Dust Bunny makes some shit up:
Obama spent 20 years voluntarily attending church where he heard these types of comments (unless he was sleeping through the sermons)

Really? Have you studied 20 years of sermons and found some factual basis for that claim? (Obama said he did not hear these things.)

Because the famous clip that has been rebroadcast thousands of times is only about 1 second long. By what logic do you presume that 1 second clip represents the 20 years of sermons?

Really, that's just a dumb and dishonest thing to say. Can you back it up? With a fact, I mean.

AlphaLiberal said...

simon, I don't think you've heard the greater quote that the Wright clip is from. As you say, he criticizes America for things America has done involving clear sins against humanity.

It did not include "whitey created aids to kill blacks." (Which I don't think is an actual quote, though I'm not sure. I think he said the government that subjected black servicemen to STDs would do the same with AIDs.)

Here, let me get the actual quote for you:
And the United States of America government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains. The government put them on slave quarters, put them on auction blocks, put them in cotton fields, put them in inferior schools, put them in substandard housing, put them in scientific experiments, put them in the lowest paying jobs, put them outside the equal protection of the law, kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and locked them into position of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing God bless America? No, no, no. Not God bless America; God damn America! That's in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating her citizen as less than human. God damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is God and she is supreme!

And he introduces this rant with a line you'd think came from a right winger:
Where governments lie, God does not lie. Where governments change, God does not change

Pogo said...

Alpha,
I'd describe the McCain-Hagee association as hold-your-nose strange bedfellows solely for the sake of political gain. Distasteful, and regrettable, mostly Machiavellian.

Not unlike Hillary with Bill.

Pogo said...

Obama said he did not hear these things.

Heh.

AlphaLiberal said...

Apparently, Obama wasn't the only person who saw something else in Wright than the shrieker we've seen on TV:

Wright has received a Rockefeller Fellowship and seven honorary doctorate degrees, including from Colgate University, Valparaiso University, United Theological Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary.[7] Wright was named one of Ebony magazine's top fifteen preachers.[13] He was also awarded the first Carver Medal by Simpson College in January 2008, to recognize Wright as "an outstanding individual whose life exemplifies the commitment and vision of the service of George Washington Carver".

I learned a few things about Wright from his Wikipedia entry. Whatever else, it is an impressive autobiography.

The Drill SGT said...

If you're a Democrat who wants to be President, you'd best be a Southerner. In fact, even Republicans have a hard time winning without a Southern connection.

And which of the 3 candidates is a Southerner? All three? none?

And don't say Hillary, born and raised in Illinois, educated in NE, spent 10 years in Arkansas, then escaped 16 years ago? Now claims NY?

McCain? Arizona is the SW or the Mountain West, not the South. Though he lived in Florida, but like his line in 82. The place I have lived longest was Hanoi.

Obama? South Side Chi-town sure. South Kenya maybe. but not Southern US

Meursault said...

Keep dreaming that Wright will distract the American public from your 8 years of disaster, wingnuts.

Not gonna happen.

Trooper York said...

"Obama said he did not hear these things."

Oh so he's hearing impaired. That two firsts for the price of one. Sweet.

AlphaLiberal said...

Hee, heee... Just found this funny video chronicling the many lies about Barack Obama from FauxNews.

Just thought I'd share. You can now return to repeating your partisan "facts".

PatCA said...

"I'd suggest attempting to grope towards an independent thought."

Like 2 + 2 is 5?

Like the US injected HIV and drugs into society to kill black people?

Like Wright and Obama aren't anti-American?

Like amba, I prefer to elect people who have psychically resolved their anger about their forebears' experiences.

former law student said...

Obama aren't anti-American?

Come on, dude! Why would an anti-American run for President? He would just flounce off to France. Obama's story is the story of America -- I'm sure you've heard it or I'd repeat it here.

former law student said...

I'd also add all the money Obama's given Wright.

Uh-oh. Somebody doesn't tithe.

And which of the 3 candidates is a Southerner? All three? none?

In the absence of a Southern Democrat, McCain's gonna win.

You heard it here first.

Hoosier Daddy said...

To you, I guess there's a world of difference between a god placing a "curse on America" (Hagee, in a full chapter on the subject) and "God damn America" (Wright, in a sermon).

Actually there is a world of difference in that Hagee is a preacher who is and was not McCain's spiritual advisor for the last 20 some years. If you can't quite wrap your head around that then I don't know what to tell you.

Saying God has cursed America (Hagee) is quite different than saying "Nah Nah Nah Nah,not God Bless America, GODDAMN AMERICA!!!" (Wright).

Seriously, if you honestly cannot see the difference between making an observation (Hagee) and asking God to damn the nation (Wright) then you're either a complete moron or being willfully obtuse.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I learned a few things about Wright from his Wikipedia entry. Whatever else, it is an impressive autobiography.

Did he get any honorary doctorates in neurology for his discovery that black brains work different than white brains?

You'd be pissing your pants and frothing at the mouth if some white guy said that.

Revenant said...

Why would an anti-American run for President?

What, ego and hunger for political power aren't sufficient reasons to want the single most powerful and important political position on Earth?

Get serious. Even Osama bin Laden would happily take the job if somebody offered it to him.

Revenant said...

Actually there is a world of difference in that Hagee is a preacher who is and was not McCain's spiritual advisor for the last 20 some years.

Exactly. McCain wants Hagee's support, because Hagee can motivate voters. Obama, on the other hand, actually believes the crap that Wright spews (unless you've got a more rational explanation for why he, his wife, and his children listened to it week after week for twenty years).

George said...

G*d Damn Amerikkkka!!!!!

Obamma '08

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"simon, I don't think you've heard the greater quote that the Wright clip is from. As you say, he criticizes America for things America has done involving clear sins against humanity."

I've heard it. I think we've all heard it. I suppose we're to infer that this context excuses the soundbite, but it doesn't. It's just a recitation - in inflammatory terms - of a litany of sins of the past. It's meaningless. You never owned slaves, put indians on reservations, or interred the west coast japanese; neither did I; neither did eithre of our parents. Obama's defense of his relationship with Ayers is that Obama was a child when Ayers was a terrorist, so it's absurd to ask Obama to carry that can. If that point has any force whatsoever, it certainly has enough force to strike down this ridiculous ongoing and childish obsession with wrongs carried out generations ago. Y'all have got to start dealig with this chip you seem to have on your shoulders like adults. I realize that adult behavior's a little much to ask of the average American liberal, but I'm an optimist.

Palladian said...

"Meursault said...

Keep dreaming that Wright will distract the American public from your 8 years of disaster, wingnuts."

Lol. Meursault... that sounds... French!

Obama needs to be photographed drinking a glass of Meursault!

And then he can turn to the camera and say "America! Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus!"

A real vote-getter!

amba said...

Obama needs to be photographed drinking a glass of Meursault!

That's funny. Meursault is both a white wine (named for a region) and the central character in Camus' The Stranger. Presumably the commenter was taking the name of the latter.

Palladian said...

"Meursault is both a white wine (named for a region) and the central character in Camus' The Stranger. Presumably the commenter was taking the name of the latter."

L’√Čtranger? Mon Dieu! Killing an Arab on a beach? Sounds like a rethuglican thing to do, not something a sensitive liberal could countenance without fainting!

Meursault said...

The comments on this blog are a powerful testament to the human capacity for self-delusion. Hate to wake you from your reverie, but you all need a little reality check. The Republicans are going to be wiped out this November. Annihilated. McCain can barely poll even against either candidate when he's floated for weeks above the fray. The Democratic dust-up is consuming so much oxygen that you don't realize it yet. Wait until the MSM turns its attention to McCain. It's going to be ugly.

Ah, well. Enjoy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Simon said: I realize that adult behavior's a little much to ask of the average American liberal, but I'm an optimist.

There's the quote of the month. Well stated Simon.

Simon said...

Amba: it appears that "Meursault" also means "hubris," on evidence presented.

Hoosier, thanks - that's not bad going on the first of the month! ;)