A pop quiz from Bob Owens:
When asked for an opinion about government-run health care, guess which Obama mentor answered this way?
I think the racists in the right wing are upset because poor people are about to be helped.
If you guessed Rev. Jeremiah Wright, you would be correct.
I know that people on the left are tired of having Wright, terrorist Bill Ayers, and other Obama mentors and allies thrown back in their faces repeatedly, but the influence these and like-minded figures had over the President in their long associations with him are very germane to how the President views the world. Wright’s comments—and the twisted hatred and paranoia that underlie them—are the same sort of conspiratorial rants we’ve come to associate with another Obama ally that just stepped down from the Administration this weekend, Van Jones.
The simple fact of the matter is that all of these people were close to the President because they share the same core beliefs. While every person is an individual and they do differ on specific points, when a belief is endemic to a group and permeates it as a majority view, it is folly to think that that view is not commonly held and accepted by members of that group.
Barack Obama has a track record more than two decades long of walking arm-in-arm with radicals and racists that propagate these theories of conspiratorial oppression.
Perhaps Glenn Beck was right. Maybe President Obama is a racist. It certainly seems more likely every time one of his allies opens his mouth to spit forth another theory of conspiratorial oppression.
Meanwhile, attempting to defend Jones’ Trutherism isn’t doing much for the credibility of the left in general, as Jonah Goldberg writes:
I’ve been a big fan of John McWhorter, but his piece over at The New Republic is sad commentary both about him and the magazine in which it appears. He writes:
Jones was wrong, actually, in disavowing his support for 9/11 conspiracy theory. He signed the document, which can only mean that he supports the idea that 9/11 was planned, or that the Bushies knew something more than they have said, or at least that the charge is plausible enough to require investigation.
But support for that idea is hardly unknown among people of the left – and often gestural in its own way; look one of these types in the eye and ask “Do you really think George Bush and his cabinet engineered the murder of thousands and have kept the secret for eight years?” and watch the nervous pause and the look off into the distance. Speculations in this vein hardly meant that Jones was not sincerely committed to working within the government to do good.
Just a few years ago, Peter Beinart wrote a TNR cover story (which became a book) on how intellectually serious “fighting liberals” needed to confront their own anti-American left flank. Now TNR is running pieces insisting that just a little trutherism is okay in the liberal big tent. Good to know.
I hope this means we will hear fewer meditations about the right wing’s coddling of the lunatic fringe and the “paranoid style” of the Right from The New Republic.
No wonder President Obama is telling kids, “Be careful what you post on Facebook, because whatever you do, it will come up later in your life” — and you may not have fellow travelers quite as willing to cut their conscience to fit this year’s fashions.