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Did Rev. Wright’s Recent Comments Hurt Obama?

April 30, 2008

Well, maybe if you ask that question, like…

50,000 times.

This is a media-driven controversy now.  The ironic paradox, I suppose, is found in watching the pundits on the cable news networks spending countless hours discussing how said countless hours of coverage will effect Obama politically.   It’d be a kind of a self fulfilling prophecy made effective by the principle of social proof; if enough people are talking about how it (the controversy) hurts Obama, then the impression is created to the casual observer that there is something in it all that should hurt him. 

The reality outside of the bubble is, of course, we’re still left where we started on this story, which is the same relatively weak guilt-by-association meme that’s been there all along:   Rev. Wright says controversial things, and he’s Obama’s former pastor.   Sure, there may be some arguments there about judgement in churches, and you can take that as you may.  But there really isn’t anything new here that moves that ball otherwise. 

But unfortunately, the prospect of this prophecy being effective has forced Obama to come out and make a statement on it and in turn adding to the drama a bit further.   And as someone in one of the plethora of cable news “panel’s” pointed out, it is unlikely to end there, since they’ll undoubtedly stick a microphone in Wright’s face asking for a response.   And so on…

I’ll hand these media talking heads one thing though, in that they sure have an uncanny way of glossing over their own role in the whole thing.

For related reading, Glenn Greenwald sarcastically opines Why the Jeremiah Wright story deserves more attention , and HotAir pointed out that Amy Holmes may have predicted over a month ago that this circus was all part of Obama’s plan (I’m not sure if I’ve reached that conclusion yet, but it is interesting).

 

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42 comments

  1. Underlying in all of this is the timing.

    When Wright was talking bad about the rest of us, Obama couldn’t disown him. But when Wright goes after Obama, suddenly there is a problem.

    But don’t call him elitist.


  2. I guess I don’t follow. This was a personal attack as opposed to ideological differences.


  3. Great point Red Pill…

    But don’t expect the lefties to grasp your excellent analogy. Even the simplest of examples escapes the minds of “the most tolerant” crowd.

    They’ll drone on about what an excellent speech on race Obama gave, forgetting Obama compared the Rev. Wrong to Obama’s own grandmother who raised him.


  4. CZ, you hit the nail right on the head. In fact when all hell started to break loose on Monday morning after the NAACP meeting, David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, got on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and expressed his concern about all the media coverage Wright was getting. He essentially said, “well, you guys sure are jumping on the story, aren’t you?”

    As I stated in a recent post, now that Obama has very clearly stated his position, the “Wright ball” is now in the media’s court. It is up them now to make the story go away, or keep in on the front page.

    Rutherford Lawson


  5. Sorry Tex, but I think the Red Pill doesn’t quite get it. Even in politics, there is such a thing as friendship. Obama did his best to shield a long time associate, for whom he had a genuine affection, from being caricatured by the media. When that same friend went public, and in Obama’s words, caricatured himself, throwing Obama under the bus in the process, the common rules of friendship were broken and Obama had every right to more strongly condemn the man.

    If anything, this entire Wright debacle shows Obama to be a human being, and not a robotic pol.

    “Underlying in all of this is the timing.” Ehhh, since all events in life necessarily precede or follow other events in life, everything we do comes down to timing. How I behave after you insult me, is likely to be very different from how I behave before you insult me. Definitely a matter of timing. I don’t see the problem.

    Rutherford Lawson


  6. Gotta head to work gang. I’ll be back later tonight to comment further.


  7. Rutherford: “How I behave after you insult me, is likely to be very different from how I behave before you insult me.”

    That is exactly the point I am making.

    When Wright was insulting the whole of White America, everything was cool. Obama made token attempts to denounce Wright (that were only bought by his loyal subjects), but at the end of the day he could “no more disown him that my own grandmother…”

    But when Wright takes to insulting Barack Obama, the next day it’s over between them. What happened to all that understanding we were supposed to have for the background of Wright? What happened to all of that history Wright lived through that caused him to spew hate-speech? Why am I expected to understand why Wright calls people like me (white, male, American) racists, but Obama isn’t expected to understand why Wright calls him a liar?

    This is just like the last debate. Obama gets screwed and the next day he says “we’ve debated enough.” Now Wright screws him and the next day he disowns him.

    I can’t believe you people cannot see through all of this. The man is completely transparent once you take your blinders off.

    Wright’s comments don’t hurt Obama. Obama’s comments hurt Obama. His lack of judgement when it comes to people hurts Obama. Wright, Rezko, Ayers. Week by week the list grows. And week by week the Obamaniacs make excuses for him. Maybe you all can pick his cabinet for him, since it seems he requires 20 years before he sees what a person is really all about.


  8. Even in politics, there is such a thing as friendship. Obama did his best to shield a long time associate, for whom he had a genuine affection, from being caricatured by the media. When that same friend went public, and in Obama’s words, caricatured himself, throwing Obama under the bus in the process, the common rules of friendship were broken and Obama had every right to more strongly condemn the man.

    Well, now doesn’t that just beg the question as to why Obama’s judgment was so poor to begin with in not only choosing his friend but close associate? So close that Obama thought enough of Rev. Wrong to take both his children to Trinity for a number of years, thereby assuring that the next generation of black children would witness the worst kind of anger that mankind has to offer?

    Am I to believe that after all those sermons about the evils of white America, Obama wasn’t even cognizant that Rev. Wrong was building a 1.6 MM home in the predominately white ‘burbs on the backs of that poor, black congregation?

    Are you asking me to believe that the brilliant Obama couldn’t see thru this flim flam in about 2 seconds? That is exactly how long it took me and I’m certainly not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief.

    Sorry, but Red Pill does get it. It is you and your comrades that continue to turn a blind eye to the obvious.


  9. “thereby assuring that the next generation of black children would witness the worst kind of anger that mankind has to offer?”

    Well, I suppose we’re all prone to exaggaration.

    What’s weird about this is that you can’t find Wright in any of Obama’s actions outside of his choice in Church. Can you find his ideas in Obama’s track record in Congress, or in his books, speechs, interviews, countless debats, on and on? Nope. Nor can you find Ayers (that’s the funniest one. They both served on the board of a freakin’ non-profit, RED ALERT!) or Rezko.

    But then again, no one is talking Obama’s political positions so I guess it’s no surprise.


  10. Blogo,

    You and Chen must be twins. You make the same circular statements managing to cancel the previous step.

    I suppose in your secular wisdom you approve of taking small children to sermons where the pastor humps the podium and the audience squeals in glee? Or the most reverent accuses his government of spreading HIV thru the black community. Or how 3,000 people being obliterated was simply “the chickens coming home to roost? Excellent. Do me a favor and don’t make the same mistake your parents made.

    Can you find his ideas in Obama’s track record in Congress, or in his books, speechs, interviews, countless debats, on and on? Nope.

    Contraire! In Senator Obama’s first book, titled Dreams of My Father and published in 1995 Senator Obama wrote at length about Rev. Wright and his moving “Audacity of Hope” speech.

    Does that count? Or should we cast a blind eye to that one too?


  11. “But then again, no one is talking Obama’s political positions so I guess it’s no surprise.”

    We are talking about his lack of judgement when it comes to people, which goes directly toward his political positions.

    What if he is wrong on Iraq like he was about Wright? What if he is wrong in his dealings with foreign heads of state like he was in his dealings with Rezko?

    Yeah, this stuff is relevant to Obama’s politics. We don’t have 20 years to wait for him to figure it all out. He wants to lead us now. And the lack of judgement he has displayed in running his personal life shows me he is not ready to run this nation.


  12. Since we now want to talk about Obama’s policies, here’s one of my favorite promises. And for the record Hillary Rotten thinks the same and O’Reilly was too dumb to call her on it. Another fallacy with regard to liberalism and the accompanying ignorance of economics:

    “I will slap a windfall profit’s tax on the evil oil companies.”

    Muwahahahahahahahahaha! I hope you progressive rubes believe that will help!

    Let me give you a lesson in economics 101 you bunch of lame-brained lefties so you won’t be surprised when prices don’t fall. The minute your boy or girl and respective Dimocratic Congress does that, here’s what free enterprise will do. Oil companies will simply cut supply and wait until another day. There won’t be a damn thing you socialists can do about it but max your credit card.

    You’ll be stuck holding the bag, the bill and waiting in line for you gas.

    Channeling Jimmah Carter!


  13. Obama’s friends are no more relevant than Bush’s C average at Yale or his inability to manage the Rangers, or his cocaine/drunk driving arrest, or sub-par military record. Or Clinton’s pot non-inhaling.

    Plus, with the “insult US, no big deal; insult Obama, big deal”, Wright said Obama’s earlier speech regarding Wright was a lie. So, yeah. That changes things.

    I think. There’s also a part of me that thinks “Well, maybe we are getting to peer under the manicured PR image.”

    Here’s a challenge. Find one place where Wright’s bad ideas (not his good ones) show up in Obama’s political record, speeches, interviews, debates, or books. I’ve given it a once-over, and can’t really find anything. (The Wright speech in ‘Audacity of Hope’ notwithstanding. That speech was so lame, any one can agree with it.)


  14. And what do we get if we win your challenge Blogo? You going to kiss the ring?


  15. Hahaha. Yeah, if you can find me an e-ring, I’ll put my e-lips on it. You, sir, have a deal!

    Or this could be an e-duel. I’ve thrown the guantlet, and you’ve picked it up. I don’t know how these things are supposed to pan out. Maybe Chen, who has more experience, can let us know how these things are supposed to work. Anyway, it’s all in fun. What is this, the comments section of a blog? If this is where I prove my manhood, I probably have bigger problems haha.


  16. Blogo, it’s difficult for me not to type Bluto. Before we play our game, how do either one of us prove our argument beyond a reasonable doubt? I can’t use the General as a judge because he’s woefully biased. Who is going to be our judge?

    I mean, do I have to show an Obama quote where Hussein says, “and I formed this opinion due entirely to my relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wrong?”

    I mean, how are we to measure if Obama came to his incredibly stupid conclusions on how to manage the country and attribute his boneheaded ideas to Wright’s complete influence?


  17. I actually kind of look like Bluto, so that might not be so far off base!

    Well, that’s a good point. Judging will be hard. I actually have no idea how to solve that one, because I’m sure it’s going to dissolve into this: “Yes it is!” “No it’s not!” “You’re a socialist!” “You’re a racist fascist!” and so on.

    One way would to be to agree upon what would be suitably “Wright-ish” before we begin, and just so long as Obama says something that sounds “Wright-ish” the contest would stop. We can skip “complete influence” and just use “the ideas look the same” as the standard, I don’t know.

    Also, I’m considering voting McCain, so it’s not like I’m totally biased here. I just lean a little.


  18. Blogo/Bluto,

    Also, I’m considering voting McCain, so it’s not like I’m totally biased here. I just lean a little.

    You’ll just have to believe me on this one. If it weren’t for McCain’s record with the military, my belief he would be far more effective fighting the jihadists, and the fact of his heroism and war record, he would be two less steps stupid than Obama, three of Hillary.

    Like many conservatives, I have no love for McCain and think him so wrong on so many issues to be worrisome. For the sixth time in a row, I will be voting for the lesser of two evils with only the ’80 and ’84 election being somebody I was truly thrilled with.

    But there is one thing that continues to confuse me about you. You’re obviously not one of the Kool-Aid drinking folks like the General. Assuming you have even a rudimentary understanding of a core belief many call religion, how can you possibly come to the conclusion that a man can attend a church, be married in a church, take his family to a church, and raise his kids in a church, listen to sermons for 20 years in a church and not think Rev. Wrong has been a major influence in Obama’s, an upstanding member of the congregation’s, life?

    You can’t be that naive…


  19. Yeah, it’s McCain on the war for the win with me, too. Hil-Hil is a close-ish second. I’m still sifting thru the medical/trade issues, and these things are what keep me in the Democratic party at the moment.

    But anyway, I see that it’s possible that Wright had an affect on Obama’s worldview, but it’s an empirical question. I don’t see evidence in his actions/words that indicate a negative impact, but of course it’s possible, and that’s what I meant by the “peer under the manicured PR image” comment. Still, it’s an empirical question. Where’s the evidence? That seems like a reasonable request. I’m not about to fly off the handle because Cheney worked for Halliburton (it’s, like, a war for oil mannnn) and I’m not going to fly off the handle until the evidence is presented here, either.


  20. Hillary Clinton defers to the voter on the topic of Reverend Wright, because when Hillary & Bill Clinton founded their own college, they sifted through 40, 000 applicants, all to the left of the Rev. Wright. The faculty sets the tone at any university, and the Clintons picks from the radical fringe insured that theirs would be a fitting tribute to virulent anti-Americanism. You say you’ve never heard of the University of Bill Clinton? Prepare to be amazed, your education is about to begin: http://theseedsof9-11.com


  21. Re: The “20 years” sitting in the Trinity Church.

    What’s missing from all this is the actual number of Wright sermons that Obama sat through. Was he there as often as every Sunday, or as few as just a couple times a year? I haven’t seen that anywhere, and it would have an effect on the argument.

    Keep in mind that if were up to me, I’d prefer that Obama had been more like someone like myself. i.e. someone who doesn’t go to church at all and isn’t particularly religious. But since I’ll be dead before we get a presidential candidate that fits that background, I have to prioritize on what aspects of a candidate are important to me, and this religious association ranks pretty low quite frankly. So, I’ve chosen to base my support strictly on the positions on the issues. And as long as Obama isn’t saying that crazy stuff himself, I’m not that concerned with Wright.


  22. General,

    So, I’ve chosen to base my support strictly on the positions on the issues. And as long as Obama isn’t saying that crazy stuff himself, I’m not that concerned with Wright.

    You mean those crazy positions like windfall profit’s tax and trying to overturn the ban on partial-birth abortion to name only two? I know you don’t care much about viable babies having their brains sucked out while residing in the birth canal but I figured you’d at least give concern to waiting in line for $5.00 gasoline.

    That Cougar must get better mileage than I thought.


  23. Tex-

    I’ve spent multiple threads on those issues, as you might remember. (seriously, the abortion thing again?)

    Anyway, bedtime for me, as I have an early day tomorrow. I think that tomorrow’s thread will be about how to spend the “stimulus” check, so look for that. In the meantime, carry on.


  24. Keep in mind that if were up to me, I’d prefer that Obama had been more like someone like myself. i.e. someone who doesn’t go to church at all and isn’t particularly religious.

    I don’t mean this as an insult to you (CZ) in any way….Perhaps you’ve had your wish granted a long time ago. He picked that church for political reasons.


  25. What no one seems to get is that all black people know many people like Rev Wright.
    Obama would not even notice these comments unless they were happening in a public forum. This stuff sounds racist only to oversensitive white people who are unaccustomed to this kind of rhetoric. It’s laughable. I feel like shouting from the rooftops that it’s ok for all you scared white folks to come out from under your beds –the big bad Rev Wright has been put in check. Cmon people get out out of your pathetic little worlds. And for the record, I am a biracial Republican, raised by my white racist grandfather who disowned my mother for getting pregnant by a black man. Oh, and I am voting for OBAMA!!!


  26. jilsander,GUFFAW!

    I feel like shouting from the rooftops that it’s ok for all you scared white folks to come out from under your beds.

    Put this in your record of memory. Here’s one “cracker” who is not only not scared but is tired of the constant whining, generational victimhood and double standard of a great part of the black community. I don’t think its racist what old Rev. Wrong said. I and a vast majority of white America could care less what that loon thinks. But I do think its predatory on the black community which I guarantee you don’t understand.

    But let me correct you about one thing. This statement of yours needs some correction:

    What no one seems to get is that all black people know many people like Rev Wright.

    Here’s a more accurate assessment:

    What no one seems to get is that many black people are like Rev. Wright as indicated by his 8,000 member applauding congregation. And I could add that your insipid insult of your “white” racist granddaddy at least had the decency to raise you.


  27. jilsander: “This stuff sounds racist only to oversensitive white people who are unaccustomed to this kind of rhetoric. It’s laughable.”

    So what you’re saying is that if whites heard more racial hate-speech from black community leaders that we would grow thicker skin?

    Tell me, how has that theory worked for the black community who has heard racial hate-speech for hundreds of years? Better yet, tell Imus. I’m sure he would be interested in discussing that with you.

    “The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, you know, there’s a reaction that’s been bred in our experiences that don’t go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way, and that’s just the nature of race in our society.”

    Please tell me why I (a typical white person) should not be offended when a presidential candidate compares me to his grandmother (whom he insinuated was a racist in previous speeches) who views people she meets on the street with a particular negative reaction.


  28. Alfie(?)-

    I don’t mean this as an insult to you (CZ) in any way….Perhaps you’ve had your wish granted a long time ago. He picked that church for political reasons.

    Ya know, I’ve seen that argument made elsewhere, and I’m not sure I’m convinced that’s true. Besides, we’d have to jump inside Obama’s soul and whip out the believe-o-meter to gauge if he’s really like me. But like I said, it’s a lower priority.


  29. Krauthammer exposes the “Audacity of a Dope” candidate…Your proposed emperor has no clothes.

    http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/CharlesKrauthammer/2008/05/02/obamas_changing_moral_equivalence


  30. Tex-

    Krauthammer’s working assumption is that Obama has “disowned” Wright, which is arguable.


  31. Krauthammer’s working assumption is that Obama has “disowned” Wright, which is arguable.

    We see the world thru very different lenses Chen as I’m sure you’re now aware. You read the article and somehow read a questionable premise.

    I read it and don’t even question the premise. I just see a once knighted “messiah” denutted yet again.

    I figure by now, Obama can sing soprano.


  32. Chen,

    I see you fixed my syntax. You’re all right my book my friend even if you are a loon.


  33. Obama was in a no-win situation politically, you’ve got to recognise that. If Obama had sat idly by and not responded to at least those accusations made by Wright that Obama’s disagreement was insincere, then it would have been taken as acknowledgement and concession. If he comes out and forcefully repudiates him like he did, then he looks like a hypocrite as Krauthammer argues. In other words, I’m certain that pundits like Krauthammer would have “exposed” Obama either way. I think most people can read between the lines here though. At the end of the day, the issue is whether people are going to view Obama’s relationship with Wright as a disqualifier for POTUS. I don’t think it is, that’s all.


  34. […] the apocalyptic problems for Obama’s candidacy as they have been made out to be. I think ChenZhen is right to say, as he did a few days back, that this “is a media-driven controversy now” more than […]


  35. Hey, I got a question for all you Bush hating lefty types out there. I thought Bush had ruined our reputation throughout the entire world?

    I see the British lefties got their ass handed to them last night.

    I guess old G.W. is just lucky, right?

    Muwahahahahahahahahahaha LOSERS!


  36. Chen: “Obama was in a no-win situation politically, you’ve got to recognise that.”

    We do recognize that.

    What Obama supporters need to recognize is that he never should have allowed that situation with Wright to develop. He knew Wright was a liability from the day he announced his candidacy. He should have cast him aside then. Or even before then.

    He had to know it would come to this. And if he didn’t, it just reinforces the claim that he is naive and not ready for the big time.


  37. Man, after visiting The List Project site after seeing the report on 60 Minutes tonight I just wasn’t aware of how much GWB has fucked over this country–just when I thought I was all too aware of it. Honestly, can the current president do much more to screw over our troops, screw over more Iraqis-now-refugees for helping our troops (that apple didn’t fall too far from the GHWB tree), and continue to screw over everyone other than Monica Lewinski? How much does this country really need to be driven to impeachment? Only weird cigar sex?

    He doesn’t just have to walk all over the flag literally, it is constant otherwise, and the fact that two candidates advocating socialism to any level are the current runners is pretty telling of just how much people have just had it with the current admin.

    Sorry, that major bend-over action on people who’ve risked their lives (and in some cases lost them, many cases actually) to help our troops and the war effort in Iraq just really threw me and the approx. 20 people who started messaging me halfway through that show tonight over the edge re: Bush hatred. I no longer care WHAT Obama may have going against him, but especially when it comes from neighbors here who simply have only just now realized that black folks are a bit miffed and frequently vent in traditionally black churches. Wright may be a loon of a preacher, but he’s not that different in tone from the many I’ve heard speak live in the past.


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