03/19/2008 - 2:40pm

The big question on political events isn't really how thing went. The question is how will it play in the media.

Goodmorning America went particularly easy on Barack this morning, skipping right over the issue of his close association with the Racial Nerve Stomper Jeremiah Wright and going directly to a conversation about race. The Today Show did a better job of making it clear that this was a speech that Barack was forced to make to put out a fire.

Last week, Barack Obama went on a media tour and tried to put the issue of Pastor Wright to rest with some Clinton style parsing.

He hadn’t been in church for the specific remarks that had been collected on Pastor Wright he said, but he did find them appalling.

He claimed ignorance.

In his big speech yesterday, the story had changed. Yesterday, he said:

Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.

So now he fesses up.

But he argues he can’t step away from the man who has played such a big role in Barack’s life that he has become like family:

He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years. I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.

Funny. Last week, the Obama campaign was all for the idea of disowning people when the shoe was on the other foot. Consider his campaign’s reaction last week when Clinton adviser Geraldine Ferraro talked about how Barack got where he is because he’s black (oh, don’t you just love those color blind democrats?) Here’s what Obama Adviser David Axelrod told reporters:

“Ferraro should be denounced and censured by the (Clinton) campaign. Samantha [Power] resigned (from the Obama campaign), because it was not consistent with the kind of campaign we want to run. We want a candidate and president who will live by their words.”

Barack wants Hillary to disown Ferraro for making an arguably inappropriate comment which happened to be factually accurate while Barack's still trying to claim that Reverand Wright is his own version of Billy Beer, just the byproduct of the black sheep of the family, and we all know about those, don’t we?

It really irked me yesterday when Barack argued that you don't disown someone you're close to just because they say something you don't agree with.

Unfortunately, that mis-characterises the situation. This is a political adviser, and close personal friend, who regularly rants in a manner that the race baiters call racist if a white person dares to talk this way.

Again, you don’t choose your family, you choose your Pastor. Barack could have walked away from Jeremiah Wright at whatever point he wanted to. But he never did want to. He preferred keeping his head in the sand, or holding our heads there, as late as last weekend. Was this because Rev Wright was critical to Barack’s political goals?

This is what political analyst Dick Morris had to say in his most recent column:

Wright's rantings are not reflective of Obama's views on anything. Why did he stay in the church? Because he's a black Chicago politician who comes from a mixed marriage and went to Columbia and Harvard. Suspected of not being black enough or sufficiently tied to the minority community, he needed the networking opportunities Wright afforded him in his church to get elected.

All this adds up to a different perspective on Barack. He’s not the angel his supporters believe him to be. He’s made of flesh and bone, he’s ambitious, and he’s willing to do the wrong thing to get ahead. Just another human being. Just another politician.

Now we can judge him by the usual criteria.

What is his experience? Virtually non-existent.

What has he accomplished? Very little.

What qualifies him to be president? Nothing other than being black at a time when the country is ready to be done with race as an issue, despite the attempts of liberals to keep it alive.

03/18/2008 - 8:02pm

Barack made himself one of the Founding Father's today.

"Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered... and launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy... This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us."

He elevates himself so that he can promise to elevate us. And in elevating himself he steps away from the mud.

In this case, it will be fun to watch if Barack's re-positioning trick works. Because this is different than saying "politics is dirty, let's you and I go do it a better way and the world will follow."

In this case, the mess is Barack's. In this case, we're getting an insight into the man with no experience, who we know precious little about, but who wants to be President of the United States. He says I Will Lift You, he says Together We Can, he says Trust My Judgment.

How do we trust the judgment of the man who hasn't been asked to make any decisions?

We look to what meager track record he has to offer. The people around him.

Certainly it caused some concern when his wife expressed her anger at America, saying she'd never been proud of this country before. The country that gave her an education, that gave her affluence, that gave her a safe community to raise her children in, that gave her a U.S. Senator as a husband. She's never felt proud before. Odd.

Now we have context.
We see a pattern to these opinions. We know where she got this dark view of our land.

"This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story... it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one."

Barack's wife doesn't like her country, his preacher and political adviser says, "God Damn America," and his closest political supporter from day one of his career, dating all the way back to the 1990's, is on trial for corruption. Barack believes we are truly one, but his close friend/ally/aide/preacher calls this nation the KKKA.

We see Barack's judgement.

Now we have context. Barack has kept race out of the campaign, and that has been nice. We thought it was because, as George Will puts it, Barack is post-racial. Now we know that he is steeped in an environment of race and class based division, but not because he shares the belief systems around him, just because he loves the haters.

He loves the Preacher, we are told, like an uncle. In fact, he compares the Preacher to his grandmother, who sometimes spoke in off-color ways that Barack found uncomfortable.

But a Preacher is not family. A Preacher is chosen. If the chosen Preacher is appalling, then you go find another one. You can't do this with a grandmother. With a grandmother, one is stuck cringing.

But even if your grandmother was your Preacher, you would stop going to church if she talked like Preacher Wright.


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