I was going to steer clear of politics for a while, if only to lighten the mood. No such luck! The events of the last couple of days keep on pressing. There is a consolation, however. It’s entertainment at its best. But to the point.
When it looked like the Rev. Wright’s controversy had all but died out or disappeared under the radar screen, now we see it resurrected, and it’s larger than life.
But don’t blame Sean Hannity for this, or Rush Limbaugh for that matter, the chief architect of “Operation Chaos.” Oddly enough, the right-wing conspiracy has been out of it, too. Give credit where credit is due.
This time, it was Jeremiah Wright himself, the disenfranchised pastor consigned to a life of relative obscurity and unbearable silence, who had broken the moratorium and decided to speak out – first on the Bill Moyers show on Friday, and then on Sunday and Monday. Good for Rev. Wright, bad for Mr. Obama!
And then, all hell broke loose.
In my mind, it was bigger than the “elitist” remarks at the San Francisco fundraiser, bigger than the Tony Rezko and Bill Ayers scandals, bigger still than Mr. Obama’s rather nondescript legislative record or favors procured on behalf of wife Michelle.
It should, by all accounts, put an end to Mr. Obama’s 2008 political ambitions, if not his entire career. Whether it will or not depends, of course, on the level of disintegration within the Democratic Party and such lackluster leaders like Howard Dean, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, not to mention the disgruntled, clutching-at-straws electorate.
Time will tell, I suppose. Meanwhile, let’s hope for the best.
What could have possibly driven the good reverend to come out from his early retirement and lash out against his former protégée, the promise of a brighter tomorrow, the morning star, the end-all and be-all?
I’m sure the conspiracy theorists will have fun with this one. For, in coming clean and spewing out the same ole message — consistent, by the way, with what has been considered thus far as “mere snippets” — Rev. Wright, they might say, had provided Mr. Obama with a perfect out. And indeed, what Mr. Obama couldn’t possibly deny or dissociate himself from in his earlier “race speech,” how could he not do so now?
No longer could he claim ignorance because of poor attendance at sermons or the Sunday school. Once the truth was out, he could only condemn it, which is what he did. (See the rebuttals in Newsweek and on NPR.) It’d leave him with a clean slate once more — free & clear of all doubts and suspicions that had plagued his candidacy till now.
His presidential bid would continue!
I don’t know about you, but I think it rather far-fetched! Clever as humans are, I don’t think they’re that clever. Most of the time, emotions and feelings get in the way. And the reasons are petty, too. In real life as well as in art. Now, here’s my take.
Rev. Wright felt injured, seriously injured. For years now, he had been grooming Mr. Obama to take up the banner against racial injustice in America and right the wrongs, to inaugurate a new and glorious era of a perfect society, both gender- and colorblind. An admirable idea indeed!
Only to see his one and only disciple turn on him, like Peter against Jesus. Mildly, at first — “I can no more disown my pastor than I can my own people” — more severely later on. And when the situation became intolerable, with Mr. Obama’s political future on the line, Rev. Wright was exiled. To a virtual Siberia, no less! No wonder he rebelled.
Make what you will of Mr. Obama’s sense of outrage and righteous indignation expressed at the press conference on Tuesday. It doesn’t hold water.
His claim that he wasn’t aware of Rev. Wright’s overall message, that now he finds it appalling and un-American, is disingenuous to the core. What Mr. Obama objects to — as invariably any one of us would! — is to having being called out. Except that in Mr. Obama’s case, it’s God’s honest truth.
He is a chameleon, shrewd enough to have fooled even the good pastor himself.
I suppose nothing had hurt Mr. Obama’s chances more than being called “a politician.” All along, he had tried to position himself as being above the fray, as the fusion candidate who would transcend the boundaries of both race and sex to forge a better America. Now the bubble is burst.
“I am a pastor,” Rev. Wright had said,” and I do what pastors do. Mr. Obama is a politician.”
So there, draw your own conclusion, is the underlying message.
All told, it’s an age-old tale of injured pride and a wounded ego. Straight out of Shakespeare!
No doubt, Rev. Wright had felt betrayed; and then, he was “thrown under the bus.” Naturally, he retaliated. In Mr. Obama’s case, the motive, I’m afraid, is less noble if not devious. Most likely, his political survival was at stake. Richard III, the pretender, comes to mind – except for the tragic ending.
But then again, Mr. Obama’s campaign has been a comedy of errors!
I find it incredible that some of the levelheaded media personas [Lou Dobbs, for instance (CNN, KNEW)] feel sorry for “poor Barack.”1
An intended consequence? Perhaps! And ff so, the conspiracy theory may not be such a pooh-pooh idea.
What do you think?
- Back in 2008, Lou Dobbs appeared “levelheaded,” but that’s no longer the case.