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The Senate Race
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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|The first rule about bad news is this: get it out there, get it out there on your own terms, and then change the subject.|
Rev. Jeremiah Wright has become a wonderful example of a botched PR campaign: the news emerged from other sources than the Obama campaign, the campaign avoided it altogether for days, and then got stuck in reaction mode, and now, TWELVE DAYS after "The Speech", Rev. Wright is still in the news.
On the simple level of the campaign, this has been a complete disaster from the Obama campaign. If this is how we can expect an Obama White House to handle crises, then the prospect of an Obama Presidency should be even more frightening than his domestic ideas already make it.
But, then there's the actual substance of the issue. In plain terms, the commentaries of Rev Wright are despicable and disgusting. For Obama to have said anything less than that is an indication of moral weakness; for him to have justified it as representative of the Black Community's Experience--an experience which this Harvard educated, million-dollar salaried, mansion owning man has never shared--is just plain backwards. It is, quite simply, justifying a mindset that mires an entire community in poverty, that breeds unjustified hatred and racism, and that pushes off responsibility on an unknown and formless "other" that can never be free of the responsibility.
If Rev Wright were, indeed, trying to move a community forward, to empower it towards change and growth, he would model his diatribes after his greater predecessor, Martin Luther King. He would direct his ire at a school system that fails his parishoners; he would take responsibility and drive his community to take responsibility for a birthrate that has more that half of all black babies born to single mothers; he would--rather than rail against "three strikes" laws--rail against a mindset that seems to shrug off crime within the community.
That said, Obama almost successfully danced a very difficult dance: he couldn't just denounce his closest spiritual advisor out of hand because that would reveal a lack of loyalty, but he had to distance himself from the content of the sermons. And, for the most part, he did a pretty good job . . .
Right until he revealed that the white grandmother who raised him was a racist, as well. Whatever character points he won by remaining loyal to his spiritual mentor, he threw away by tossing Granny under the bus. What a piece of work.
And now, twelve days later, what is left is a country just as deeply fractured as it was when Rev Wright's comments first came up--in fact, probably moreso because Obama just told Whites to get over it.
If this is what Obama intends to do as far as bringing the country together and solving problems together, then this is a bad BAD sign for the Senator, and for the country.
And, on another note, I mentioned once that the futility of Rev Wright's commentaries, coupled with the hatred contained in Michelle Obama's speech, betrayed a certain ineffectiveness in the Senator's message. Upon further reflection, don't you have to wonder about the judgment of man whose wife is clearly disdainful of America and whose closest spiritual advisor is plainly a bigot? Is THIS the sort of people we should expect to occupy the White House in an Obama presidency?