April 28, 2008
DANA MILBANK ON JEREMIAH WRIGHT: For Obama, the Voice of Doom? "Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks ('God damn America') and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America." I don't see how this can help him.
UPDATE: Joe Klein: "I've been to dozens and dozens of African-American church services over the years, including the investiture of one of my friends as an AME minister two years ago, and I have very rarely, if ever, heard the kind of rants that are part of Reverend Wright's canon. . . . Wright's purpose now seems quite clear: to aggrandize himself--the guy is going to be a go-to mainstream media source for racial extremist spew, the next iteration of Al Sharpton--and destroy Barack Obama." Yeah, if Wright's not trying to sabotage Obama's candidacy, what is he doing?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Some useful background here. Doesn't today's speech mean that Bill Moyers wasted his time and reputation in trying to walk Wright back from the brink?
MORE: Ouch: "Frankly, it’s as selfish of a move as we've seen in some time. Imagine, for example, if Norman Hsu or Vicki Iseman were doing publicity tours right now."
STILL MORE: Ron Coleman says the chickens are coming home to roost. And here's more from The Telegraph.
MORE STILL: Andrew Sullivan finally catches on: "But what he said today extemporaneously, the way in which he said it, the unrepentant manner in which he reiterated some of his most absurd and offensive views, his attempt to equate everything he believes with the black church as a whole, and his open public embrace of Farrakhan and hostility to
the existence of Israel Zionism, make any further defense of him impossible. This was a calculated, ugly, repulsive, vile display of arrogance, egotism, and self-regard. This is an outright attack on the stated beliefs and policies and values of Barack Obama in a secular setting."
Yes, Wright's views certainly contradict Obama's stated beliefs, policies, and values. Andrew adds: "Obama needs not just to distance himself from Wright's views; he needs to disown him at this point. Wright himself, it seems to me, has become part of what Obama is fighting against." Become? I don't see that Wright has changed. People have just noticed. And if this is what Obama is fighting against, then . . . where's the fighting against part?
FINALLY: Eric Scheie on Pastor Wright's fantasy world of hyperbole. Some of that hyperbole is deflated by this comment from The Volokh Conspiracy:
"Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains. He did not put me in slavery. And he didn't make me this color."
Nobody put Wright in chains.
Nobody put Wright in slavery.
Wright's color is due to his Negroid and Caucasian genes.
People can be so literal. Or is the whole thing being cleverly staged to give Obama the all-time greatest Sister Souljah moment?