Obama again tries to boil down Wright’s incendiary comments to a “half-minute sound clip” in hopes controversy will just go away
Here we go again (emphasis added):
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday sought to quell concerns over anti-American remarks by his former pastor, saying people are paying too much attention to a small number of “stupid” comments.
Obama gave a sweeping speech on race and condemned the incendiary remarks of Rev. Jeremiah Wright last week, but the words of the former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago continue to dog the candidate. Reflecting the campaign’s concern about the fallout, Obama used a question about religion at a town hall forum as an opportunity to address the issue.
“This is somebody that was preaching three sermons at least a week for 30 years and it got boiled down … into a half-minute sound clip and just played it over and over and over again, partly because it spoke to some of the racial divisions we have in this country,” Obama told an audience in this central North Carolina city.
“There are misunderstandings on both sides,” the Illinois senator said. “We cannot solve the problems of America if everytime somebody somewhere does something stupid, that everybody gets up in arms and forgets about the war in Iraq and we forget about the economy.”
First things first: Rev. Wright has been preaching black liberation theology since he became pastor of TUCC in 1972, so his racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American preaching style is not new.
Second and most importantly, while I do agree that the back and forth handwringing and whining about every little nitpicky comment coming from the opposition (like his campaign’s implication that Gerry Ferraro is a racist and their pre-SC Dem primary demagoguing of Bill and Hillary Clinton as closet racists) takes the focus off the more important issues, the focus on his 20+ year mentorship with Rev. Wright is not just nitpicking. If I were a Barack Obama supporter, right now I’d be very disillusioned with him, because for the last year or so, he’s been telling everyone how he is this great ‘healer’ (and don’t get me started on how he uses religious overtones in many of his campaign speeches to ‘elevate’ and ‘motivate’ supporters) who will heal the partisan, racial, and religious divides in this country, yet he had a primo opportunity to start bridge those very divides in his OWN CHURCH and never once tried because, supposedly he never heard directly the remarks in question (even though he has heard “some” controversial remarks – not anything he’s gone into specifics about).
As much as he wants this issue to go away, it’s not going to – nor should it, especially when we keep hearing about speeches his wife has made this year where she has talked about America as being “downright mean,” where she has asserted that Barack Obama will “demand” that we shed our cynicism of governmnet, and is the only man who can “save our souls.” Essentially everytime we’ve heard of a speech she’s given this year, it’s been given with that kind of theme in mind. This country is just awful and mean, provides no opportunities for anyone, and BO is the only man who can fix it all.
Perhaps even eclipsing all that is the latest example of Michelle Obama’s attitude towards this country, where she dared to criticize South Carolina for not being willing to step out of their “comfort zones”:
“We don’t like being pushed outside of our comfort zones. You know it right here on this campus. You know people sitting at different tables- you all living in different dorms. I was there. You’re not talking to eachother, taking advantage that you’re in this diverse community. Because sometimes it’s easier to hold on to your own stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance… That’s America. So the challenge for us is are we ready for change?” (January 2008 speech given in SC)
In light of what we now know about the pastor of the church she and her husband sat silent in for over 20 years – a pastor who Obama himself cites as his “spirtual mentor” – the irony of her remarks shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Is there any wonder why we haven’t heard of her appearing much on the campaign trail lately?
Here’s the video:
As I’ve said before, there’s a reason Barack Obama doesn’t want to look back too much on the past – even the recent past. Because the more you do, the more you understand just how thin his resume is, and what little bit that does exist is a mixed bag of a few minor legitimate accomplishments, some notable embellishments, and plum assignments given to him by a kingmaker, assignments where others before him had done a lot of the legwork associated with it. Not only that, but looking back affords everyone the opportunity to try and figure out whether what he’s promising now equates to a) “just words” or whether b) his word should be considered reliable. Considering his and his wife’s silence as longtime congregants in a church whose pastor has clearly promoted anti-Semitism, racism, and anti-Americanism over the years, I’d pick option “a.”
He neglected to stand up in his own church community where it would have mattered the most, especially in his early days of serving in the Illinois state government. If he can’t even stand up for his country against the hateful, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-America types in his own church, I have no confidence in his ability to stand up for this country against those in this world who are much more hateful, racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-America than his “former” pastor – and who are also willing in the hundreds of thousands to become martyrs for their jihadi “cause.”