Obama-worshipper Chris Matthews briefly pressed his idol tonight on the matter of Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Without 5,000 prepackaged words of patented Baroque O'Blarney nuanced thoughtfulness, Obama sounded like a Time-Life Records two-for-the-price-of-one deal on the Greatest Hits of George W. Bush and Dan Quayle:
OBAMA: I think that what has happened is we took a loop out of — and compressed the most offensive things that a pastor said over the course of 30 years, and just ran it over and over and over again. There is that other 30 years. I never heard him say those things that were in those clips.
MATTHEWS: But you did say you heard him say controversial things.
OBAMA: But I’ve heard you say controversial things.
MATTHEWS: You didn’t give me $27,000 dollars either.
OBAMA: The point is this is a church that is active in AIDS. It’s active on all kind of thing. And so this is a wonderful church. But as I said, look at the amount of time that’s been spent on this today, Chris. At a time when we haven’t talked about a whole host of issues.
The LA Times reports:
And while insisting -- as he has previously -- that he was not present when Wright made the pronouncements that fueled the recent furor, he steered clear of specifying the "controversial" statements he has said he did hear from the preacher.
What did the Presidential candidate know and when did he know it?
Look, that's a stupid question, but only because the answer is clear from Obama's own autobiography. Before Obama ever met Wright in the 1980s, he had heard from other South Side black pastors that Wright was a radical. That's the main reason Obama was attracted to Wright rather than all the other pastors he had met as a community organizer: Wright was the optimal combination of leftism and successfulness.
Isn't anybody else getting tired of Obama repeatedly yanking our chains about his relationship with Rev. Wright? Unlike his protege, Wright has made sure to leave a paper (and DVD) trail decades long, and it's not thoughtfully nuanced to the verge of utter incomprehensibility, either. The Rev. says what's on his mind, and in no uncertain terms.
C'mon, Obama, be a man. Stand up and admit to one of two logical possibilities:
- Yes, I used to be about as leftist as Rev. Wright, but I changed my mind for the following reasons ...
- Yes, I still am about as leftist as Rev. Wright, and here's why ...
What Obama is counting on is that white Americans don't take blacks' ideological views seriously. Obama is betting on everybody treating his relationship with Wright as a racial matter rather than as an ideological matter, and since all nice people shy away from thinking about racial matters, they'll just let it drop.
In contrast, if Wright were a white minister who was an outspoken advocate of Sandinista-style "liberation theology," a white Obama would, at a minimum, be spending a lot of time answering searching questions about his ideological evolution. But, because Obama and Wright are black, nobody takes the disagreeable Wright's ideology seriously, and everybody assumes that the personable Obama must share their ideology.
It must be driving Wright crazy. Here he goes on Fox News a year ago and tells Sean Hannity a half dozen times that he is a follower of black liberation theologian James H. Cone, and that if you want to have an argument with him about where he stands, you should first read a stack of academic books by Cone and by Dwight Hopkins. And nobody paid any attention.
Wright doesn't seem to consider himself a creative intellectual in the class of Cone, but he does view himself as a man who has thought hard for decades about subjects like the immorality of corporate capitalism.
And yet, Obama is getting away with going around the country on national television implying that the 66-year-old Wright is some kind of elderly uncle who has, tragically, gone crazy in his dotage. In reality, Wright holds the same political views today as he had when he first reeled in Obama two decades ago.
And the white media believe Obama's lies about Wright because nobody takes a black man seriously as an intellectual!
So, I don't expect we've heard the last from Rev. Wright. All summer, he's going to be sitting in his new mansion on the golf course in the gated community in 93% white suburban Tinley Park brooding on how Obama has betrayed him, and what he's going to do about it.
He'll think of something.
For example, last November 2, he invented the Jeremiah Wright Trumpeter Lifetime Achievement Award and gave it to Louis Farrakhan at a big bash at the Chicago Hyatt Regency, but it took the white media ten weeks to even notice what a black man had done. This year, there are all sorts of people he could give his award to on, say, Saturday night November 1st. And I bet this year it won't take ten weeks before the white press talks about it!
Or maybe somebody else will think of something for Wright to do. If you were a literary agent, say, wouldn't you want to sign Wright up for a quickie bestseller, with a release date targeted at, say, 10/1/08? Hustle your best ghostwriter out to Tinley Park and get Wright's memoirs and views on current issues slapped together by the Fourth of July. Make that deadline and you could have it on the bookshelves five weeks before Election Day!
No, I don't think we've heard the last from Rev. Wright.