Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama Fails Another Test

From "Obama Fails Second Sister Souljah Moment

Senator Obama has a problem. Unfortunately, the possible Democratic nominee is handling the Wright revelations like Kerry handled the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He's ignoring the building outrage as if it's going away. Not a good sign looking towards the general election.
Obama missed another sister souljah moment. The first when he had to be pushed into "denouncing and rejecting" Louis Farrakhan's high praises. Reverend Wright awarded Farrakhan an award, which caused quite a stir. But the light shining on the relationship between Obama and the Minister is something quite different altogether. It's not enough to say through your spokesperson that the candidate "deplores divisive statements." For a preacher, calling this country the "US KKK of A" deserves a little more than that. Obama "disagrees?" with Wright is not enough.

... .. Hearing Mr. Wright's venomous and paranoid denunciations of this country, the vast majority of Americans would walk out. Instead, Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle have presumably sat through numerous similar sermons by Mr. Wright.

Indeed, Mr. Obama has described Mr. Wright as his "sounding board" during the two decades he has known him. Mr. Obama has said he found religion through the minister in the 1980s. He joined the church in 1991 and walked down the aisle in a formal commitment of faith.

The title of Mr. Obama's bestseller "The Audacity of Hope" comes from one of Wright's sermons. Mr. Wright is one of the first people Mr. Obama thanked after his election to the Senate in 2004. Mr. Obama consulted Mr. Wright before deciding to run for president. He prayed privately with Mr. Wright before announcing his candidacy last year.

Mr. Obama obviously would not choose to belong to Mr. Wright's church and seek his advice unless he agreed with at least some of his views. In light of Mr. Wright's perspective, Michelle Obama's comment that she feels proud of America for the first time in her adult life makes perfect sense.

Much as most of us would appreciate the symbolism of a black man ascending to the presidency, what we have in Barack Obama is a politician whose closeness to Mr. Wright underscores his radical record.

The media have largely ignored Mr. Obama's close association with Mr. Wright. This raises legitimate questions about Mr. Obama's fundamental beliefs about his country. Those questions deserve a clearer answer than Mr. Obama has provided so far.

This is the second time Senator Obama is been faced with a sister souljah moment. He's failed this one too. Here's what he said today in Pennsylvania:

Q: I don't know if you've seen it, but it's all over the wire today (from an ABC News story), a statement that your pastor (the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's South Side) made in a sermon in 2003 that instead of singing "God Bless America," black people should sing a song essentially saying "God Damn America."

A: I haven't seen the line. This is a pastor who is on the brink of retirement who in the past has made some controversial statements. I profoundly disagree with some of these statements.

Q: What about this particular statement?

A: Obviously, I disagree with that. Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor. There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it's important to judge me on what I've said in the past and what I believe.

"I haven't seen the line?" This is just disingenuous, at best. If Obama is this clueless we're all in trouble. Where has Mr. Obama been, under a rock?

Who's going to drag the possible Democratic nominee into reality? He's obviously having trouble relating to it himself.

Reverend Wright's convenient and timely retirement, which Obama makes sure to mention, is not going to get Obama off the hook with many Americans, and a statement through a political operative doesn't do the trick. Obviously, this guy just doesn't get it. In this country you can't simply say you can't blame "cherry picking" on a preacher that espouses such hatred towards his own country, but especially white Americans. Well you can, but it's not going to get you to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a general election."