Barack Obama has decided it was time to pack up the campaign bus and move on. But before pulling out this time, Obama finally decided to throw his pastor under it.
“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” Obama said in a last-minute press conference today. The candidate said that after watching Wright’s appearance from Monday, “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”
I’d sure like to know whether Barack Obama was in his church – as so many Americans were – the Sunday following 9/11 when Wright offered one of his most inflammatory ravings of all. But this issue has exploded beyond such questions.
It’s frankly way past time Obama repudiated Jeremiah Wright. He should never have attended the extremely radicalized Trinity United Church in Chicago in the first place. He should have walked away in outrage twenty years ago.
Given full, repeated opportunites to show how he had been “taken out of context,” Jeremiah Wright instead demonstrated that he stood by every “sound bite” he had spoken exactly as it had been depicted. He does believe America is a terrorist nation who deserves terrorist attacks to be directed against it. He does believe that white America created AIDS as a genocide against people of color. He didn’t back away or in any way change the context of any of his radical statements.
By speaking out, Rev. Jeremiah Wright reveals that the “spin” that much of the media – and Barack Obama himself – had been putting on the story for the last couple months was a flat-out lie. These were not sound bites taken out of context. It was malicious to claim that Wright’s sermons had been deliberately taken out of context, because the charge was an attempt to assasinate the characters and reputations of men and women who are now revealed to have been right all the time.
You may despise Fox News’ Sean Hannity and love PBS’ Bill Moyers, but Hannity has been demonstrated to be the objective source, and Moyers the biased ideologue.
Conservatives keep saying that the elite media is biased to the left, and the elite media keeps proving that the allegation is completely true. You have only to go back and review every story that characterized Jeremiah Wright’s remarks as “soundbites” and “thirty second loops” spun “out of context” to see that the media was doing its own spinning out of a pro-liberal and pro-Obama agenda.
For the most part, there was simply no possible context that could have made most of these remarks palatable. America with three Ks, America as a terrorist state, America as a racist developer of genocidal death-viruses. Good luck with that, “What-the-Reverend-really-meant-to-say”-project.
But we still have another spin on this story. We still have the excuse that somehow Barack Obama never heard any of this stuff, and just didn’t know it was going on for all these years.
I can see it now:
Several thousand people settle into their pews as the worship team finishes leading the music. Rev. Wright steps into the pulpit to preach. The auditorium quiets down.
“Is he here?” The doormen charged with monitoring Barack Obama’s attendance shake their heads.
“Well, then, America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.! We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. 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. America’s chickens are coming home to roost!”
And then a security radio crackles in with a report that Barack Obama has driven in and is walking toward the auditorium.
“And Jesus said, love your enemies. Do good to them that hate you,” Wright sweetly and sublimely preaches as Obama files in and takes a pew.
The rest of the congregation smiles knowlingly. And the vast conspiracy, which has succeeded in keeping Barack Obama completely in the dark for twenty years, has succeeded yet again.
The problem with this scenario is that the facts simply say otherwise. Allow me to quote myself from 19 April:
First of all, it is a frankly incredible claim. Barack Obama spent 20 years in this church, and 20 years in an intimate personal mentoring friendship with Jeremiah Wright. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. has been well-known for being a fiery radical way out of the mainstream ever since he coming to the church in 1972. The fact that Wright married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children are only embarrasing details. And Barack Obama had no idea what his mentor for twenty years stood for? When the Reverend Wright delivered a particularly offensive, hateful and anti-American sermon, no one ever told Obama about it? The fact is, in his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama himself reveals this argument for the lie it is. In a vivid description recalling his first meeting with Wright back in 1985, the pastor warned Barack Obama that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation. And when Obama disinvited Jeremiah Wright to give the convocation speach at his announcement of his presidential campaign last year, he essentially told his pastor that he was too extreme for Barack to openly associate himself with him. Obama knew.
When the video of Rev. Wright’s hateful, racist, anti-American rants first became public, the Obama campaign indignantly indicated that there was nothing worthy of bothering itself about. They had no problem with anything Wright had said. Later in the day, as the video of the ranting pastor spread, the campaign offered a lame dodge. A little after that, Obama himself offered that he’s never heard any of the remarks. Then he gave his speech saying, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”
And, of course, the left-leaning media swooned over the speech.
Well, I guess now he’s disowning the black church. Sorry grandma. You gotta go.
Obama personally records the warning that Wright gave him about the church’s radicalism. The only thing that changed since that day in 1985 was that Barack Obama’s political ambitions have grown to the point where his twenty-year “association” (a word the liberal media loves to use to imply a bogus “guilt by association”) is no longer expedient for a man who had used the influence of Trinity United and its pastor to climb the ladder in Chicago politics. Obama had found the church offered him street credibility with common black folk as well as powerful local connections. And now he finds it politically expedient to bite the hand that fed him.
Obama chooses some interesting words to describe his reason for distancing himself from Wright. “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”
Jeremiah Wright’s worldview has not changed. He is presenting the same worldview that he has been presenting for twenty years.
Let me quote myself again from 15 April, and note that I specifically refer to Jeremiah Wright’s worldview:
When revelations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-American remarks first began to surface, Democratic supporters of Barack Obama quickly claimed that these were just a few comments that were taken out of context. But when one considers black liberation theology, and when one listens to the words of numerous other black liberation theology theologians, this defense quickly becomes untenable.
When Jeremiah Wright talked about “white greed” in his now-famous “Audacity of Hope” message, he was perfectly expounding on black liberation thought. When he claimed that white America deliberately created the AIDS virus as a genocide against blacks, he was accurately exegeting black liberation ideology of class based warfare against the oppressed black class. Or, expressed negatively, when he said that anti-crack cocaine penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, how was that in any way contrary to his central theological beliefs? When Wright denounced Israel as a Zionist state that imposed “injustice and … racism” on Palestinians, how was this not in perfect accord with his theology? When Wright railed against “AmeriKKKa” in his sermons, just how was that contrary to black liberation thought? And when Wright lectured American society that it deserved 9/11, was this in any way out of bounds with either the teachings of black liberation theologians or the Marxism from which they derived their message?
Has Barack Obama, the Harvard Law School graduate, the former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and full-fledged elitist intellectual snob, somehow been totally unaware of black liberation theology? Was he totally unaware of the teachings of his church? Was he completely ignorant of the beliefs of the man who led him to his faith, who married him, who bapatized his children, and who taught him and mentored him for twenty years?
Now the Obama campaign is pitching itself as the poor victim of this crazy Jeremiah Wright. And the media is just gobbling it up. But a New York Post story coming out today quotes a source that is problably closer to the mark; that the pastor felt betrayed by a man who had once embraced him as a friend, a mentor, and a spiritual guide. That the pastor feels betrayed that Obama is now distancing himself from views that he knew Wright had had for years and years.
Joe Scarborough is claiming that now that Obama has finally come out and denounced Wright that no one can bring this up any more, as though by sheer brute force of ultra-left-wing will can overcome every question and doubt that this relationship so justifiably raises. What is this guy putting in his coffee?
The media spins, and most of the media spins fast and furiously left. But the truth of the matter is that Barack Obama’s central campaign theme is, and has always been, a fraud. There’s nothing new about him, he isn’t the candidate of hope, and the change he will bring will only be for the worse.
Barack Obama’s close and long-term relationship with Jeremiah Wright calls his character, his honesty, his integrity, and his own beliefs into open question. Should we believe his current campaign spin, or should we believe his actions over the last twenty years?