April 28, 2008

I told you so

As I've been saying for a long time, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. is an attentionaholic far leftist whose career interests do not necessarily coincide with Barack Obama's. Indeed, Wright may well wish to go down in history as the Willie Horton of 2008 who proved what Wright's been saying his whole life, that a black man can't a fair break in America. And I've said for a long, long time that Obama would have to do a Sister Souljah on Wright and do it as early as possible.

Today, the whole world finally noticed. Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post:

Wright's Voice Could Spell Doom for Obama

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining this morning why he had waited so long before breaking his silence about his incendiary sermons, offered a paraphrase from Proverbs: "It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Barack Obama's pastor would have been wise to continue to heed that wisdom.

Should it become necessary in the months from now to identify the moment that doomed Obama's presidential aspirations, attention is likely to focus on the hour between nine and ten this morning at the National Press Club. It was then that Wright, Obama's longtime pastor, reignited a controversy about race from which Obama had only recently recovered - and added lighter fuel.

Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks ("God damn America") and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.

In front of 30 television cameras, Wright's audience cheered him on as the minister mocked the media and, at one point, did a little victory dance on the podium. It seemed as if Wright, jokingly offering himself as Obama's vice president, was actually trying to doom Obama; a member of the head table, American Urban Radio's April Ryan, confirmed that Wright's security was provided by bodyguards from Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.

Wright suggested that Obama was insincere in distancing himself from his pastor. "He didn't distance himself," Wright announced. "He had to distance himself, because he's a politician, from what the media was saying I had said, which was anti-American."

Explaining further, Wright said friends had written to him and said, "We both know that if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected." The minister continued: "Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls."

Wright also argued, at least four times over the course of the hour, that he was speaking not for himself but for the black church.

"This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright," the minister said. "It is an attack on the black church." He positioned himself as a mainstream voice of African American religious traditions. "Why am I speaking out now?" he asked. "If you think I'm going to let you talk about my mama and her religious tradition, and my daddy and his religious tradition and my grandma, you got another thing coming."

That significantly complicates Obama's job as he contemplates how to extinguish Wright's latest incendiary device. Now, he needs to do more than express disagreement with his former pastor's view; he needs to refute his former pastor's suggestion that Obama privately agrees with him.

Wright seemed aggrieved that his inflammatory quotations were out of the full "context" of his sermons -- yet he repeated many of the same accusations in the context of a half-hour Q&A session this morning.

His claim that the September 11 attacks mean "America's chickens are coming home to roost"?

Wright defended it: "Jesus said, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic divisive principles."

His views on Farrakhan and Israel? "Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion. He was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter's being vilified for and Bishop Tutu's being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I'm anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago. He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century; that's what I think about him. . . . Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn't make me this color."

He denounced those who "can worship God on Sunday morning, wearing a black clergy robe, and kill others on Sunday evening, wearing a white Klan robe." He praised the communist Sandinista regime of Nicaragua. He renewed his belief that the government created AIDS as a means of genocide against people of color ("I believe our government is capable of doing anything").

And he vigorously renewed demands for an apology for slavery: "Britain has apologized to Africans. But this country's leaders have refused to apologize. So until that apology comes, I'm not going to keep stepping on your foot and asking you, does this hurt, do you forgive me for stepping on your foot, if I'm still stepping on your foot. Understand that? Capisce?"

Capisce, reverend. All too well.

22 comments:

jbday said...

When Wright said in his Detroit speech that he was going to have a book out in a few months, I remembered Steve's post from a while ago. http://isteve.blogspot.com/2008/04/obamas-eloquence-deserts-him.html

Even though you are the most underrated political analyst in America Steve, don't let it go to your head.

Anonymous said...

Obama's chicken is coming home to roost.

Hats off to Steve!

Anonymous said...

I watched a video clip of Wright and was surprised at his skin color. He is virtually white.
Maybe that causes him to overcompensate.

Danindc said...

Malik Zulu Shabazz?? What was my accountant doing there?? Steve your great work on the rev has you in line for another 25$.

rightsaidfred said...

Good call on the book.

>>>>He denounced those who "can worship God on Sunday morning, wearing a black clergy robe, and kill others on Sunday evening, wearing a white Klan robe."

This reminds me of an analysis of how many black people have been killed by the Klan, Nazis, etc since 1950 (less than 100) and the number killed by other black people ...

Garland said...

havent read the Press Club speech but his speech to the NAACP was the greatest thing since Lincoln:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wfrjiADBBA&eurl=http://blog.vdare.com/

testing99 said...

Dang Steve. You NAILED it.

Yeah of course. Honor. Thieves. All that.

Anonymous said...

I thought of you, too, especially last week when Rush Limbaugh, who is normally a pretty good reader of people's motivations, predicted something entirely different. He believed Wright would be totally remade and that he and his critics would then point and say to us we had been irrational and delusional about him. Two people I respect very much had two very different takes, so I was paying very close attention. I had suspected that you, Steve, would be right because I believe you understand people better than any pundit in America today. It wasn't just blind faith, either; your explanation made sense intuitively and rationally.

William said...

I'm not big on conspircacy theories, but I have 2:

1) Shortly before Wright gave his speech reaffirming has anit-American and racist views a phone call was made from a home in Westchester, New York to a bank office in Manhattan, instructing them to wire a significant sum of money to a numbered account in Geneva.

2) The Obama Campaign has begun to realize, since the "bitter" remarks and the 10 point defeat in Pennsylvania, that the only way to regain trcation is to more thoroughly distance the candidate from Wright. Doing so would require some precipitating evnt, and Wright's new comments mark that event. It gives Obama a chance to come out and thoroughly trash Wright, and reject everything he has said in the past.

(1) is not unliklely, but least likely. Or perhaps Wright really is just a press whore. But I think there's a strong possibility off #2 being true. In fact, I'd bet Obama has an "anti-Wright" speech in his briefcase all ready to go.

Chris said...

When I first came across that WaPo piece I was surprised that it didn't read like it was written by a buffoon. Then I noticed that the credit at the end goes to Eric Pianen, not Milbank.

Sideways said...

HAve to congratulate Steve for nailing Wright's desire to upstage Obama's presidential campaign for his own publicity at the expense of the presidential campaign. Excellent prediction.

Beyond that, I'm fascinated to see how the many Jew-haters who hang out here will react to the end of this post.

Anonymous said...

You respect Rush Limbaugh?

nsam said...

great insight and this time things did turn out the way you predicted

testing99 said...

A lot of spec on Obama distancing himself from Wright.

"I can no more disown Rev. Wright than I can disown the Black Community, or my own family."

Those words will haunt him. He can't "distance" himself. He owns Wright.

Anonymous said...

Obama owes his living to Wright as Senator for Chicago/Illinois. The best he can do is keep his head in the sand and pray for the compliant media to downplay Wright's shenanigans. (A victory dance? Was this where Wright broke out the spoons and gave us a breakdown-flap to banjo-bones accompaniment?)

When people like Wright bubble up to the surface, White America realizes to its horror that there is a Black America out there, and that it is an Other as alien to their outlook and values as the Evil Empire. Their physiological reaction is the same as if they had walked out their doors and saw a tiger in the front yard.

The Democrats had better nominate Hillary, because otherwise whites are going to vote for McCain reflexively as an act of self-defense.

--Doug.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Wright is the gift that keeps on giving.

It is SO MUCH FUN to point out how ignorant and illogical and just plain crazy so much of "black thinking" is in this country.

Remember the good times we all had exploring Michelle Obama's senior thesis? That was nuthin' compared to Rev. Wright's lunatic rantings. Even better -- just think that ridiculous folks like Cornell West were in the audience nodding and laughing and clapping and "amen-ing" to Wright's speech.

Pathetic.

The "black community" is this country -- with the notable exception of those few blacks who self-consciously reject being lumped into that group (e.g., Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, et al.) -- is a laughing stock. It is truly emabarssing to think they share the label "American."

American Patriot

ben tillman said...

"Beyond that, I'm fascinated to see how the many Jew-haters who hang out here will react to the end of this post."

The fact that you refer to non-Jews as "Jew-haters" says a lot about your perspective.

Svigor said...

Yes, you totally called the book and the loose cannon thing. Kudos. Maybe this is why Obama didn't do much to distance himself since his campaign started; he knew Wright would drag him. But that makes explaining his continued presence at Wright's church over the years much more difficult.

I thought of you, too, especially last week when Rush Limbaugh, who is normally a pretty good reader of people's motivations

I caught a snippet of Rush today and he mentioned how surprised he was that Wright was doing so much damage, apparently deliberately. I instantly thought of Steve (for the second time - caught a bit of Wright on the news this morning) and his loose cannon thing, and how stupid Rush is for not reading Steve's blog (surely someone has pointed it out to him by now?).

Here's where I admit that I'm agog, if not surprised, by Wright's behavior. That he just can't keep it in his pants is not a shock at all, but it is a rubbernecking kind of experience.

Svigor said...

It gives Obama a chance to come out and thoroughly trash Wright, and reject everything he has said in the past.

I avoid talking (not thinking) about conspiracy theories like superman avoids kryptonite, but I had the same thought. O'Rama gets to be the good guy by fire-and-brimstoning ole' fire-and-brimstone.

But, it's too far-fetched and too risky, for too little reward.

Svigor said...

Oh! I almost forgot the parallels I noticed today between mainstream black political behavior and white nationalist political behavior. You see a lot of Wright's kind of behavior in WN circles, FWIW.

Svigor said...

For a moment I thought about logging in as "Truth"* and letting the air out of your victory by posting, "I'd sure as hell hope you'd make an accurate prediction or two about Obama-Wright, you made a zillion posts on the subject," and maybe add something pithy about stopped clocks.

Instead I'll just preemptively let the air out of his victory. Never said I wasn't spiteful...

*Hand to God, never used a sockpuppet in my life, much less impersonated anyone.

airtommy said...

It is SO MUCH FUN to point out how ignorant and illogical and just plain crazy so much of "black thinking" is in this country.

Remember the good times we all had exploring Michelle Obama's senior thesis? That was nuthin' compared to Rev. Wright's lunatic rantings.


What is most interesting about Wright's speeches is that nobody, including this "anonymous" poster and Steve Sailer, is willing to analyze them. Of course, it's generally indisputable that:

1. Zionism is racism,
2. The Sandinistas were one of the most benign governments in Central America during the 1980s.
3. The goal of most American military actions is to terrorize civilian populations into accepting capitalism.

But Steve & Co prefer just to put the radical views on display and mock them, PRECISELY as liberals do with any public comment that hints at white racism.