Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hypocrisy and Obaminations (Update 3)

In the wake of the revelations about Obama's church of twenty years and his close relationship with a vitriolic, racist and anti-American preacher, we are treated in the MSM to near silence and, in several instances, outright dissimulation. Indeed, the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune tell us that "no one with more than a springer spaniel's political awareness" need be concerned with what Rev. Wright has said.


Barak Obama is asking for us to vote him into our Presidency. Does he evince sufficient character, judgment and veracity to warrant it?

We evaluate a person based on their deeds, their associations and their words. All three tell us much, as does any dissonance among the three. Do the words match the deeds? Are the associations consonant with both? Of these three, probably the most difficult and fraught with potential for unfairness lies with assessing associations.

That said, one of the oldest sayings that we have in the English language is that a man shall be known by the company he keeps. Indeed, the saying itself has ancient roots, deriving from Book of Proverbs 13:20. Taken past its reasonable moorings, this can lead to an unfair assessment of guilt by simple association. But to dismiss the importance of associations on that possibility alone would be a rejection of the wisdom of the ages. And the longer and deeper the associations, the more important they are in assessing the judgment and character of an individual.

In the case of Barack Obama, we now know that he has had a two decades long and extensive association with the Reverend Jerimiah Wright and Trinity United Church. You can find the details and the videos about the deeply racist and anti-American Rev. Wright here. Here is one of the videos:

The relevant facts for this post are that Obama chose this Church. Obama has attended the church for twenty years, and he has spoken often about how important Rev. Wright has been to his life, how he regularly consulted the Reverend on matters both spiritual and secular, and indeed, how he used one of the Reverend's racist sermons to form the basis of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."

Obama's defenses now that the video above and others have surfaced of Rev. Wright's sermons are simply unbelievable:

1. He has tried to deflect the questions about his Church by simply asserting he did not see the Church as "particularly controversial."

2. He attended the Church for twenty years, but claims that he never heard Rev. Wright express this racist, anti-American vitriol that lies at the heart of Rev. Wright's "social gospel."

3. He downgraded the pastor of the Church yesterday to the status of a mere parishioner whose relationship to Obama was that of an acquintance and with whom he had a limited scope of dealings: "I knew him as somebody in my church who talked to me about Jesus and family and friendships."

To put this in perspective, if we were to find that John McCain, for the past twenty years, had embraced as his spiritual advisor a racist who preached vitriol and hatred against his country, who doubts that it would be front page news for months to come. If McCain had not only chosen this man as his pastor, but written about his theories and closely associated with him in his decision making, there would be a great national debate - or at least an unending series of editorials and news analyses - on the pages of the NYT and Washington Post. Left wing pundits would be red-faced and sputtering with righteous moral outrage.

They would be right to do so. And conservatives, I would like to think, would be equally vociferous and, indeed, leading the charge.

Yet, now that it has become clear, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that Obama is embroiled in just such a scenario, there is only the hypocrisy of silence in the MSM for the most part, the brazen hypocrisy of attempting to pretend it does not matter from others.

In the Washington Post, it has only merited a posting to a blog.

In the NYT, we were treated to a blog post discussing only Obama's defenses and a short article on the topic, noting that Obama is "distancing" himself from his preacher.

But by far the most disingenuous is the Chicago Tribune who, in an editorial, have equated Clinton's relationship with Geraldine Ferarro to Obama's relationsip with Rev. Jerimiah Wright and dismissed both:

The controversial, race-based comments of former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro and of retired South Side pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. are of genuine importance to the selection of a Democratic presidential nominee. . . .

. . . No one with more than a springer spaniel's political awareness thinks that Ferraro speaks for Clinton, or that Wright speaks for Obama. Demands from one candidate's supporters that the other repudiate what was said on his or her behalf ring disingenuous. . . .

Read the entire editorial. Any equation of Clinton/Ferraro to Obama/Rev. Wright cannot even be rightly described as comparing apples to oranges, because those two are at least both fruit. It really is more like comparing apples to deadly nightshade in the degree of difference between the two. No one claims that Clinton had a twenty year relationship with Ferraro, or that she regularly consulted Ferraro on matters both spiritual and otherwise. Ms. Clinton has not crafted a book and a campaign message on the philosophy of Ms. Ferraro. In short, it would take an axe to chop through the disingenuousness and hypocrisy in the Chicago Times editorial.

All of this creates a tremendous level of dissonance as we attempt to evaluate Obama's character, integrity, and whether he has the judgment to lead America. Obama's appeal to this point has been in his words. He portrays himself as being post-racial, able to unite America as one. And yet one of his closest associations over the past twenty years has been with his choice of a spiritual guide and mentor whose vile racism and divisivness has no part in America today. That is a level of dissonance that cannot be swept under the carpert except by utter fools on one hand and those who happen to agree with the racist and anti-American screed of Rev. Wright on the other.

It may well be, as many have speculated, that Obama merely joined the Church and associated so closely with Rev. Wright over the past twenty years purely for political gain. If that is the truth, than we need to know it and judge Obama accordingly. It will tell us about Obama's charachter, his lack of principle, his opportunism, his lack of veracity, and his incredibly cynical embrace of political expediency.

The alternative, and certainly what was suggested several weeks ago by the remarks of Michelle Obama regarding her being proud of America for the "first time," is that Obama and his wife have been quite amenable to Rev. Wright's racist and anti-American screed. If that is the truth, than it will be equally informative of Obama's character and veracity. In either event, Obama's dissimulation and the attempt by his supporters to assert this does not matter while offering vacuous comparisons will not - and cannot be allowed - to work.

Update: Obama continues his dissimulation, now scrubbing mention of his pastor of twenty years from his website.

(H/T Before and After screenshots from LGF and Powerline)

Update2: In four days, there has been a 5 point change in the poll numbers. Obama is dropping. Clinton now leads in the national polls 47 to 45.

Obama now plans to address the race issue at a speech in Philladelphia on March 18. This from the Atlantic:

Barack Obama plans a major speech tomorrow in Philadelphia on race, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the future.

An adviser said that Obama wants to contain the Wright story. He worries that the 1960s-to-1980s prism of race is what everyone has read into it, and Obama wants to move the discussion forward.

He is expected to recount, in detail, how he came to know Rev. Wright, how he came to admire Rev. Wright, the history and meaning of the Trinity church, and address the controversial remarks attributed to Wright. . . .

Read the article here. Given the dissimulation by Obama himself to this point, I expect nothing less from his speech tomorrow.

Update 3: I have listened to Obama's speech. I will do a seperate post on the speech, though several things struck me. He has now changed his story and admitted that he was well aware of Rev. Wright's racism and bombast, though he did nothing to explain why he would willingly sit through such racist and anti-American screed for twenty plus years. He is trying to create an acceptable grey area out of clear racism and anti-Americanism that should enjoy no support in this land.

1 comment:

Dinah Lord said...

Amazing, isn't it?

I guess the reason the MSM isn't speaking out about this is because, beside being in the tank for Obama, they agree with the good Reverend and his God Damn America remarks.

For months I have been marveling at Obama's talent to take any charge levied at him and flip it back on the accuser. He has proven to be a master at this particular brand of political ju jitsu. The question is: will it work on something like this?

Or will there ultimately be "a smoking pew" that documents his attendance at church during a contentious sermon? (Good luck with that, the way that Obama's circle is sanitizing their websites and all!)

I'm thinking he's going to weasel his way out of it...