Saturday, May 03, 2008

Feel the hollowness inside of your heart, And it's all right where it belongs

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(The whole thing)

In re: Rev. Wright (nifty alliteration, eh?), I remain ambivalent, as in, having two faces.

In pure political terms, Wright seems to have callously tried to embarrass Obama with his National Press Club visit. Darkblack suggested to me that perhaps it was a coordinated effort (by Wright and the Obama campaign) to allow Wright to fall on his sword thus allowing Obama to distance himself once again; I'm not sure.

And regardless, it's all fodder for the Vast Right-Wing News Machine™, ranging from Limbaugh to Matthews. Meanwhile, McCain's BFF Hagee escapes scrutiny.

Yet my liberal side pretty much agrees with the great Charles Pierce, writing at Altercation (scroll down):
It's hard to know where to go with the Jeremiah Wright story, what with the law firm of Briggs, Stratton, and Husqvarna looking over my shoulder and all. What I do know is that some folks seem to have the thing backwards. He doesn't owe Obama anything. He was a minister, Obama was his congregant. He could have happily gone on doing the good works he'd done for three decades, and giving his sermons the way he had been giving them, nutty or not. Then Obama decided to run for president. AT THAT MOMENT, because of the campaign, and because of the combination of bad faith and puerility that is the hallmark of modern American political journalism, Wright became an "issue." (And don't be fooled. You could see it coming a mile off. Sean Hannity was frothing about this subject almost a year ago.) Since when does a guy's entire career go up for grabs just because one of his congregation decides to run for president? What's his affirmative obligation to a campaign narrative of which he did not ask to be a part? (I wait in vain for someone to explain to me how what Wright says bears in any way on whether or not Barack Obama should be president of the United States. All answers meeping vaguely about "judgment" are automatically disqualified.) He's not John Hagee, blobbing around on stage with John McCain, who'd flagellate himself to get Hagee's blessing. The narrative went out and found Wright, chewed him up, made the candidate perform in the traditional Kabuki theater of televised outrage, and otherwise made a dog's breakfast out of a 30-year ministry that by all accounts served its community well and faithfully. So, finally, Wright shows up in Washington and tells the nation's media to Cheney itself, and does so in a manner so indecorous that he sounded like John McCain talking to Rick Renzi, and people pronounce themselves shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that he would do so. He's entitled to defend himself, his life, and his ministry, as vigorously as he deems necessary. That right is absolute. He's under no obligation to consider the political ramifications of that defense at all. If it were me, I'd have shown up at the National Press Club with a firehose.

Indeed. So while I applaud Rev. Wright's pugnacity on the one hand, on the other I
understand the need for Obama to disavow, disdain, disrespect, whatever, Wright's earlier comments. That said comments were largely spot on doesn't matter, since this isn't truth, but politics.

Too many people in this country, especially on the Right and in the media have trouble with compound sentences and complex thoughts. For them, anything more challenging than "see Spot run" is too hard. So for them, we'll keep it easy: The bad stuff that bad man said can't hurt you anymore.