Shorter Jonah: Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s skin tone of voice makes me uncomfortable.
Thanks to the pinched nerve (which is getting a bit better, thanks for asking), I’ve been falling behind on my wingnuttery, so today I sat down with a bowl of Quisp and a mug of Ovaltine and pored over Jonah’s LA Times column from yesterday, in which he established the objectives Obama’s speech must meet if it was to be considered a success. But Jonah’s expectations were not unreasonable, and he took care not to set the bar too high:
Barack Obama will reportedly give a major speech this morning at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, addressing the controversy about his extremist pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
Obama needs to do two things. First, he needs to make it incandescently clear that Wright doesn’t speak for him in any meaningful way. If he won’t do that, his campaign is a fraud and he is not qualified to be president.
Also, and I’m paraphrasing here, since Obama aspires to be a “post-racial” candidate, he must rip open his crisp white dress shirt and reveal the solid state electronics concealed behind his factory-made abdominals, or forfeit all trans-human credibility.
Second, he needs to explain to black America why Wright’s views are so poisonous.
Because black America plainly seems unable to grasp the problem when white people point it out — even when they go to the trouble of prefacing their explanations with compliments on one’s bling, or solicitous inquiries about who may have been careless with the gate latch, thus allowing one’s dogs to roam free.
By now, if you’ve paid any attention at all, you’ve read the quotes and seen the video clips of Wright at the pulpit…He suggested that America had it coming on 9/11.
Much as I hate to admit it, Jonah makes a fair point. The reverend is condemned by his own words:
The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this…And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen’.
Talk about blaming the victim. I agree, it’s not enough that Obama denounce, even “incandescently” denounce Wright. The pastor should be exiled to U.S. warships and held incommunicado for the rest of his life like Philip Nolan, never again to set foot on U.S. soil, or even to read or hear the word “America.”
Obama and his surrogates are denouncing attempts to link the candidate and the views of his pastor and mentor.
“But they’re as tightly entwined as the liberals of today are with the Fascists of 80 years ago, and as Tony Snow would say, it’s only logical to tar these babies with the same brush.”
More implausibly, Obama claimed that he’d never heard his mentor say anything of the sort, in public or private.
Obama has been a member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years. Wright baptized Obama’s daughters; he officiated at Obama’s wedding. The title of Obama’s career-making book “The Audacity of Hope” is from a Wright sermon. Wright worked with Obama as a community organizer. Saying you were out back catching a smoke during one sermon or another won’t cut it.
Although it did seem to work for Vice President George Bush during the Iran-Contra scandal.
The issue isn’t what Obama sat through, but what he stands for.
Okay, that’s fair. The real issue isn’t what Obama may have heard, but what he’s said. After all, Wright is only a bystander. It’s incumbent upon us as informed voters to focus on Obama’s views – his policies, his convictions, his vision for the future –
Even Wright’s tone is poisonous.
– or not.
Obama righteously deplores “divisiveness.” And yet he literally worships at the altar of division.
I tried that once, but had to give up. The tithing involved too much math.
He wants to transcend race, but his black nationalist church and his liberation theology pastor consider race permanent and central issues.
“Look, you got a whole history month to brag about the guy who invented peanut butter! Alternate side of the street parking regulations are suspended on Martin Luther King’s birthday! We even let Clarence Thomas marry a white woman! What do you people want?!”
A 2005 study by the Rand Corp. and the University of Oregon found that nearly half of African Americans say they believe that HIV is man-made. More than 25% think that it’s a government invention, and one in eight say it was created and spread by the CIA. Just over half believe that the government is purposely keeping a cure from reaching the poor.
And please, spare me the rationalization that blacks have reason to be conspiratorial.
Wait, blacks are conspiring to spread man-made HIV to the poor? Wow. I bet they were behind the Tuskegee Experiment too! Suddenly it all makes sense!
In the 2005 issue of Social Science Quarterly, Sharon Parsons and William Simmons tried to explain why conspiracy theories like these persist in the black community. Part of the answer, they concluded, is that black politicians have no interest in dispelling them. Paging Sen. Obama!
So in addition to shaking hands, giving stump speeches, and participating in debates, a candidate for president (if he’s black) is also required to run around the country debunking urban legends. Because if black people vote for for an African-American because they think the government is, say, disproportionately punishing black people for drug crimes, then before you know it, otherwise rational white people might vote for an outsider because of wild rumors about government tapping the phones and reading the emails of ordinary citizens.
If he wants to be taken seriously as a candidate for the highest office in the land, then Obama better get his Snopes on.
Obama preaches unity. Well, real unity requires real truth-telling and the ability to tell right from wrong…
Which, as Jonah would point out, isn’t nearly as much fun as TPing the neighborhood with Talking Points, then sneaking downstairs to eat all the Früsen Gladje.
…and Wright from right.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, explains why Jonah is a columnist for a major American newspaper. You don’t get that kind of writing from some obscure blogger whose only claim to fame is a laptop and a mother who never blew John Mitchell in the White House pantry.
I, for one, have no interest in being united with Wright or anyone who insists that America is an evil, racist, damnable nation bent on murdering black people — and I suspect neither will many general election voters.
I guess it’s lucky for us, then, that Wright isn’t running for office.
Obama’s power base is made up of black voters and the upscale left-wingers who condescend to them.
Yeah, yeah, the New Yorker may say it’s not for “the little old lady from Dubuque,” but that’s a load of crap. After Obama won Iowa it became obvious that the entire Quad Cities is infested with Regency fops who swan about the place sipping Typhoo, scrutinizing lepidopterans through a monocle, and condescendingly casting ballots for mulattoes.
Well, it is time he spoke truth to that power. If the eloquent, self-proclaimed truth-teller and would-be first black president can’t manage that, he should go straight from would-be to never was.
So there you have it: If Obama ever hopes to prove himself morally fit for the highest office in the land, he needs to throw down with Eustace Tilly.
Posted by scott on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 at 7:05 pm.
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