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March 15, 2008

Obama Never Heard Wright's "Controversial" Statements? Funny, He Writes About Them In His Memoir
Update: Lots of Stuff, Including Mark Steyn on Wright's 9/11 Chickens-Coming-Home to Roost Sermon

And as an added bonus, the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope, is once again borrowed (shocker) from a Wright sermon.

And so it went, a meditation on a fallen world. While the boys next to me doodled on their church bulletin, Reverend Wright spoke of Sharpsville and Hiroshima, the callousness of policy makers in the White House and in the State House. As the sermon unfolded, though, the stories of strife became more prosaic, the pain more immediate. The reverend spoke of the hardship that the congregation would face tomorrow, the pain of those far from the mountaintop, worrying about paying the light bill…

I'm informed that this sermon is actually on YouTube, but I can't find it.

Not really on point, but...

"I wouldn't call it radical, I'd just call it being black in America."

Well, there's some truth in that. Blacks tend to have a radical's view of America. Black pols and activists tend to be view America antagonistically -- perhaps for good reason -- and are often far more comfortable with the radical strain of politics as exemplified by Marx, Chomsky, etc.

But Barack Obama certainly has not represented himself as a radical, even the "normal" sort of black radical that's pretty common. He represents himself as a true moderate and centrist, above the divisive extremes.

But of course he's not a moderate. At best he's a left-liberal -- the most liberal Senator in America -- but his close political associations with die hard anti-Americans such as Wright, and the genuine terrorist Bill Ayers, suggest he's not even merely a left-liberal.

Look, I went apeshit on Ron Paul for his own repellent embrace of hatred, paranoiac conspiracy-theorizing, anti-Americanism, and yes, racism.

Are we all supposed to give Obama a pass because this passes as relatively normal among a certain segment of the American electorate?

Ron Paul's noxious newsletters also seem relatively anodyne among a certain segment of the American electorate, but we (most of us, at least) do not say he's free to court Neo-Nazis and employ racist ghostwriters just because a fairly extreme group sees their views not as extreme but just good old common sense.

If Barack Obama is truly to transcend race and "heal" our nation, he's going to have to tell white people things they don't want to hear -- and tell black people things they don't want to hear, either.

He's had 20 fucking years to say something to Jeremiah Wright. He has not. So I'm not thinking he's eager to tell blacks they have to give up on some of their wilder flights of paranoid fantasy and scapegoating.

Jesse Jackson couldn't "heal" our country's racial wounds because he was plainly a partisan on one side in the racial cold war. From what we've seen of Obama, he's precisely the same, albeit with a more affable and calm demeanor.

But we don't elect people based upon their demeanors. Or at least we shouldn't. We elect them upon their actual beliefs, ideas, and policy impulses. And while Obama talks a nice, safe, nonthreatening game of gauzy, nonspecific racial "healing," he is an acolyte of firebrand race-warrior and has been such for 20 years.

And in all that time, he failed to bring the "healing" and "reconciliation" he promises to the nation to a single man.

If he can't heal Wright's age-old hatreds and paranoias, how the hell does he claim he can do the same for Texas? For Boston? For LA? For Crown Heights? For the whole country, and for (as some of his more unhinged supporters would have it) for the entirety of the Earth itself?

Charity begins at the home, Senator. So too does healing and hope for change.

Awesome: Dueling demagogues: Wright vs. Obama.

Thanks to Doug.

Obama's Foreign Policy Judgment: One can of course be right for the wrong reasons.

Let's say, arguendo, that Obama was right to oppose the War in Iraq.

The reasons he'd like you to think he opposed that war are prudential in nature -- not the right enemy, not the right time, not the right force levels, not the right amount of world support, not the right doctrine, not the right tangible security-interests gain for the right sacrifice.

But what if his reasons are not prudential but ideological in nature? His spiritual guide and political mentor views America as a positive force for evil in the world -- there are few woes that cannot be traced directly America's imperialist, racist, selfish nature.

He claims he condemns Wright's statements (but not necessarily his worldview) now that they've become public. He has not previously disavowed this view of God Damn America, America the Evil.

Like seeks like. Obama comes from a radical background and counts radicals among his most important advises and supporters and friends.

It hardly shows off Obama's good "judgment" if he, as seems nearly certain, he opposed the American invasion of Iraq simply because he views America as the disease infecting the world.

That's hardly a nuanced, well-considered view. It's a childishly simplistic and borderline insane view.

So: What were Obama's true reasons for opposing the war? And what does that say about his foreign policy impulses?

Barack Obama has been vague and evasive on such questions to the point of self-parody, so we must turn to the best evidence available to determine what he really thinks. He's certainly not telling himself.

And the best evidence in this case are the words of the man who married him, who baptised his children, who delivers vicious tirades against the evil of the US of KKK A apparently every second or third Sunday.

Good, sound, well-considered nuanced judgment?

Or ugly old kneejerk, hateful blame-America-First-ism?

I know which way I'm leaning.

And Even More On That: This time from Mark Steyn.

I’m not a believer in guilt by association, or the campaign vaudeville of rival politicians insisting this or that candidate disassociate himself from remarks by some fellow he had a 30-second grip’n’greet with a decade ago. But Jeremiah Wright is not exactly peripheral to Barack Obama’s life. He married the Obamas and baptized their children. Those of us who made the mistake of buying the senator’s last book, The Audacity of Hope, and assumed the title was an ingeniously parodic distillation of the great sonorous banality of an entire genre of blandly uplifting political writing discovered circa page 127 that in fact the phrase comes from one of the Reverend Wright’s sermons. Jeremiah Wright has been Barack Obama’s pastor for 20 years — in other words, pretty much the senator’s entire adult life. Did Obama consider God Damn America as a title for his book but it didn’t focus-group so well?

Ah, well, no, the senator told ABC News. The Reverend Wright is like “an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with.” So did he agree with goofy old Uncle Jeremiah on September 16th 2001? That Sunday morning, Uncle told his congregation that the United States brought the death and destruction of 9/11 on itself. “We nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” said the Reverend Wright. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards.”

Is that one of those “things I don’t always agree with”? Well, Senator Obama isn’t saying, responding merely that he wasn’t in church that morning.


There are many preachers who would be happy to tell their congregations “God damn America.” But Barack Obama is not supposed to be the candidate of the America-damners: He’s not the Reverend Al Sharpton or the Reverend Jesse Jackson or the rest of the racial-grievance mongers. Obama is meant to be the man who transcends the divisions of race, the candidate who doesn’t damn America but “heals” it — if you believe, as many Democrats do, that America needs healing.

I'd like to check the record as to Obama's whereabouts on Sept. 16th, 2001. If he wasn't in church that day -- where the hell was he?

And is he really trying to tell us no one, no one informed him Wright had laid the blame for the deaths of 3000 Americans, quite predictably, at the feet of American evil?

thanks to someone.

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