Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Right on Wright?

I haven't watched the the Moyers interview, the Press Club Address OR the NAACP speech, or read the transcripts yet, but from what I have seen and read, this conclusion doesn't seem too far off...
It seems obvious to me that he's doing everything he can to wipe out Obama's candidacy, and I'll tell you why I think it is. I think that people like Reverend Wright -- and I think there are a lot of other race business hustlers out there, by the way, who think this -- really upset that if a black candidate is elected president, that they're going to be somehow diminished in their task, at keeping everybody in their flocks all revved up and angry about the ages old sin of slavery and the ongoing discrimination.

So it appears to me, if you look at Reverend Wright, listen to what he says and analyze it from the context or perspective of what's best for him, which is clearly all he's interested in, what's best for him is that if Obama loses, because then it's easy for him to say, "See, the white power structure doesn't want a black man to rise to the pinnacle of power in the United States of America." It would certainly fuel Reverend Wright's future and continue to help him raise money and keep people whipped up into a frenzy. He's not helpful. Whatever he thinks he's doing, it is not helpful to Barack Obama.

Now, you tell me if you think that this is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright trying to help Barack Obama. "The Rev. Jeremiah Wright said Monday that he will try to change national policy by 'coming after' Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) if he is elected president. The pastor also insisted Obama 'didn't denounce' him and 'didn't distance himself' from Wright's controversial remarks, but 'did what politicians do.' Wright implied Obama still agrees with him by saying: 'He had to distance himself, because he's a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was [portrayed as] anti-American. I said to Barack Obama last year, "If you get elected, November the 5th I'm coming after you, because you'll be representing a government whose policies grind under people."'"

Is this helpful to Barack Obama? Once again, he has just destroyed the entire reason for Obama's success, and that is...he's a new kind of politician; he's a politician we haven't seen before; ...and here comes Reverend Wright, (paraphrasing) "Eh, just your average run-of-the-mill politician. He had to say what he said," meaning there's nothing new, nothing unique, nothing distinct about Barack Obama. He's just a politician.

[...] These are not just a little couple of comments taken out of context with Reverend Wright. This is one angry, livid, enraged individual, and Obama's got a serious problem with him now. You may not want to admit it and the Democrats and the superdelegates may not want to admit it publicly, but they've got serious problems here. This guy is undermining the Obama candidacy...

My theory is that it would be far better for Jeremiah Wright for Obama to lose because that will give him a whole new launch pad for his America-is-racist-and-hates-black-people comment, that America is run by "rich white people" who couldn't handle the prospect of a black man being president; and Barack was beaten down by the same forces that have kept blacks down since slavery, blah, blah, blah. The bilge and the drivel that he argues. In all seriousness, folks; if the Democrat Party and if Barack Obama had any say-so whatsoever, this guy would be hibernating. He'd be on a permanent vacation until November. Nobody would be able to find him. He certainly wouldn't be speaking publicly. But he's out there doing it. Now, last week I thought this was a rehabilitation tour to make Reverend Wright a teddy bear and to show the American people that the man in these sermons -- the snippets of sermons that we've seen -- is not who he really is, but that's off the boards now. That's not possible now because he's only exacerbating the problem that he has with the American people. He is a radical. He is anti-American. He is an extremist. He's doing nothing to mollify that and he's not helping Obama in the process.

Rush Limbaugh Show, April 28, 2008

Reverend Wright DID accomplish some unifying with his latest remarks...he has me, Andrew Sullivan and Rush Fucking Limbaugh on the same page.

I need to read and watch more, and flesh out a better conclusion, because god knows I'd love to be wrong—but it sure seems like Wright is a proud, vain man who was hurt by Obama, and is also perhaps threatened by being surpassed by Obama and becoming irrelevant.

Obama again stuck up for Wright this past weekend and said in his FOX News interview (another thing I need to get to) that Wright is a good man misepresented by the events of the last weeks and Wright deserves a chance to defend himself and clear his name.

I don't imagine what Wright is doing is at all what Obama had in mind. Wright is not willing to go quietly, he adding all the wrong context to the infamous snippets, and seems not only willing to, but actually relishing hanging Obama out to dry in the process.

This is not just a headache, it's a fucking nightmare for Obama.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum thinks Hillary should do the right thing and help bail Obama out on this. I want some of what he's smoking...

UPDATE 2: Sullivan tries to see past this...

Fighting Despair

So many readers seem to be feeling it. I have too. But remember what we're dealing with here: last fall, no one gave Obama a chance. It was always a very long shot. When I wrote that Obama piece, Clinton was ahead by at least 20 points and it wasn't budging a jot. Every pundit also expected the classic Clinton-Giuliani set-up for 2008: the perfect boomer red-blue battle. It didn't happen. The Republicans, from a smaller and demoralized base, gave us McCain. And the Clintons have lost the mathematical chance of winning the nomination by any fair means. The change has already happened.

Obama is a freshman senator; he is 46 years old; he is African-American; he is a liberal - even if he is very gifted in talking to conservatives. He has taken on the biggest brand and machine in American politics, the Clintons, and won. If you didn't think this would be an uphill struggle, you've been deluded. Of course, race will not go away; it will come back again and again and again. Of course, generational resistance will not go away: Obama is a big leap for the over 50s for all sorts of reasons. Of course, the usual Rovian tactics will be used against him - brutally. He does represent real change - culturally, politically, and in terms of global politics. Politicians who represent real change do not win easily; they usually require a real crisis to rise. That's how RFK and MLK emerged - in crisis, after being smeared (sometimes with a grain of truth) and finally assassinated. That's how Reagan and Thatcher emerged. We forget how their chances were considered flimsy for so long.

Obama is still in this; and the Wright fiasco gives him a chance to remove this cloud and address it again. He has the most votes, the most states, the most money, the most new voters and the most delegates and the most Senators on his side. This is no time for a failure of nerve - on the part of the Obama team or his supporters.

The only way past this is through it. And it's not just up to Obama; it's up to those of us who see him as a vehicle for real change.

Obama has scheduled a press conference, let's see what happens.

In a fucking serious world with a legitimate press and informed voters, he'd be able to say, simply:

"This guy doesn't speak for me, my campaign or what I believe in. I have stated my disagreement with his comments in the past, and I disagree with what he said again yesterday. Reverend Wright is wrong. His comments are wrong, and they are divisive. It's not helpful to white OR black America, or trying to create ONE America. Reverend Wright and his beliefs represent just another example of the divisiveness of the past, and it is what I am trying to move us past."

"I attended the fantastic ministry and community that Reverend Wright and thousdands of Chicagoans helped to build, and I will not abandon my church. Nor will I throw the Reverend to the wolves. HE is a man that has done good things in his life and his work, and those will not be undone by this, but he seems content to take the dialogue on race in a different, and destructive, direction.

I am hoping to reach a crossroads and to bring this country together on a journey to something better. It appears Reverend Wright is searching for the fork in the road. He is on a different path and it will not cross mine again. Thank you. Period. The end.

Now, how can you dumb motherfuckers ignore what I just said, and how many different ways can you all ask the same stupid-ass questions."

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