Wright Throws Obama Under The Bus and Steps On The Gas

Jeremiah Wright has thrown Barack Obama under the bus and he has stepped on the gas. The consensus is in — whatever Wright’s motive, this doesn’t look good for Obama.

Here’s some of the opinions around the news and the sphere:

Joan Walsh on Salon: I was wrong about Wright

I regret that I hedged my observation about Wright’s narcissism. He may be wounded, but this is a man of enormous self-regard, and he’s clearly trying to hurt Barack Obama. His national rehabilitation tour started fairly sympathetically with the Moyers conversation, but it’s devolved into self-pity and self-glorification ever since.

Marc Ambinder: Wright Politics

The Obama campaign knows that Wright is throwing Obama under the bus, and they’re of two minds about the political repercussions.

TNR: Wrightmare

NYT:

Our colleague Jeff Zeleny tells us that associates of Mr. Obama said privately that his campaign was furious at Mr. Wright’s decision to step forward so publicly, but that they were unable to do anything to control this. They added, however, that the pastor’s actions prove that he and Mr. Obama are not that close, otherwise why would Mr. Wright do this now?

That’s easy–because Wright has become embittered at Obama since the initial controversy last month, even if Obama never actually threw him under the bus. (Ambinder says the men have spoken once since then and that “the conversation was not especially pleasant.”) Wright also now possesses a new level of fury at a media/cultural establishment he feels has demonized him, and that, too, might override any qualms he had about damaging Obama.

A very unhappy Andy Sullivan: Wright’s Poison

I didn’t watch Jeremiah Wright’s National Press Club performance live this morning, as every other blogger seemed to. Wright is not on the ticket of any major party, he is not Barack Obama, and I’m not going to be baited into making this campaign about him, or the boomer cultural racial obsessions that so many want this vital election to be about.

But then I actually read what he said.

I knew he was an exhibitionist; many of his sermons at Trinity, read in their entirety, do fall within the tradition of some prophetic teaching; I can forgive occasional outbursts from fiery preachers; he has done much good in his own neighborhood and his interview with Bill Moyers struck me as defensible; parts of his address at the Press Club were completely uncontroversial and even contained some important truths.

But what he said today extemporaneously, the way in which he said it, the unrepentant manner in which he reiterated some of his most absurd and offensive views, his attempt to equate everything he believes with the black church as a whole, and his open public embrace of Farrakhan and hostility to the existence of Israel Zionism, make any further defense of him impossible. This was a calculated, ugly, repulsive, vile display of arrogance, egotism, and self-regard:

His claim that the September 11 attacks mean “America’s chickens are coming home to roost”?

Wright defended it: “Jesus said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic divisive principles.”

His views on Farrakhan and Israel? “Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion. He was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter’s being vilified for and Bishop Tutu’s being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if I’m anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago. He is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century; that’s what I think about him. . . . Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery, and he didn’t make me this color.”

He denounced those who “can worship God on Sunday morning, wearing a black clergy robe, and kill others on Sunday evening, wearing a white Klan robe.” He praised the communist Sandinista regime of Nicaragua. He renewed his belief that the government created AIDS as a means of genocide against people of color (“I believe our government is capable of doing anything”).

This is an outright attack on the stated beliefs and policies and values of Barack Obama in a secular setting.

Dana Milbank in the WaPo: Wright’s Voice Could Spell Doom for Obama

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining this morning why he had waited so long before breaking his silence about his incendiary sermons, offered a paraphrase from Proverbs: “It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Barack Obama‘s pastor would have been wise to continue to heed that wisdom.

Should it become necessary in the months from now to identify the moment that doomed Obama’s presidential aspirations, attention is likely to focus on the hour between nine and ten this morning at the National Press Club. It was then that Wright, Obama’s longtime pastor, reignited a controversy about race from which Obama had only recently recovered – and added lighter fuel.

Amy Sullivan on Time: Jeremiah Wright Goes to War

Maybe Barack Obama skimped on his contribution when the offering plate came past at Trinity United Church of Christ. Or perhaps he nodded off during one of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons. It’s hard to think of another reason why the Illinois Senator’s former pastor would put on the kind of performance this morning at the National Press Club that can only be described as a political disaster.

Nedra Pickler in AP News: Wright does Obama little good

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is going after his critics on an incendiary tour that is doing his one-time congregant, Barack Obama, little good.

NRO’s The Campaign Spot: Jeremiah Wright May Have Just Sunk Obama’s Campaign

Obama is saying he should be president, instead of two much more experienced rivals, because of his superior judgment. But what kind of judgment is needed to select Wright as a surrogate father figure?

And Obama responds: Judge my words, not Wright’s

“I think people will understand that I am not perfect and that there are going to be folks in my past like Rev. Wright that may cause them some concern but that ultimately my 20 years of service and the values that I’ve written about and spoken about and promoted are their values and what they’re concerned about,” Obama said.

The Illinois senator spoke at a hastily arranged press conference on the airport tarmac in Wilmington, N.C., as media traveling with him were about to board his campaign plane. [...]

“Some of the comments that Rev. Wright has made offend me, and I understand why they offend the American people. He does not speak for me. He does not speak for the campaign,” Obama said.

“Many of the statements that he’s made, both that triggered this initial controversy and that he’s made over the last several days, are not statements that I have heard him make previously. They don’t represent my views,” the senator added.

The list goes on and on… Memeorandum has all the buzz.

Time will tell just how bad this will play out for Obama but for now it simply looks bad for Obama. No politician is perfect, but as I said here when Wright’s sermons first hit the news, it’s hard to fathom Obama was not aware of some of the things Wright has been preaching over the years. Many American’s are offended by Obama’s former preacher and the long-term relationship between the two men really looks like a poor judgment call on Obama’s part.

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8 Responses to Wright Throws Obama Under The Bus and Steps On The Gas

  1. Janis says:

    “I think people will understand that I am not perfect and that there are going to be folks in my past like Rev. Wright that may cause them some concern but that ultimately my 20 years of service and the values that I’ve written about and spoken about and promoted are their values and what they’re concerned about,” Obama said.

    OUCH. That stung me.

    I keep feeling strange about this — I can totally understand a great deal of black bitterness. It’s just the crappy judgment Obama showed in continuing to visibly support it despite his political ambitions, the idea that Wright kept it up day in day out with the mantle of divine authority on him while families sat there and expected to hear uplifting and motivating things …

    And the fact that Wright goes on and on about him literally being in chains, when he is a millionaire who will be living in a 10,000 sqft house! NOBODY put you in chains, mister — and I don’t think you need to blame anyone for making you that color. What the hell’s wrong with being that color?

    As someone who is an artiste at bitching, even I have to admit that you can’t marinate in bitterness.

  2. Anton Wills-Eve says:

    Of the three effective candidates still in the running for the White House McCain walks in the shadow of the Bush administration and should, to a sensible population, be unelectable. Obama has little or no experience of International politics and could potentially be a global, not just a US, disaster in the event of a world crisis – Iran, China and Terrorism are just three issues with which he could not cope. That leaves Clinton. She has charisma, the experience of eight years alongside the encumbent in the White House,a strong senatortial record on domestic and foreign issues and would satisfy the need for America to show it can elect a woman as president. It is not important that the president should be a woman but it is important that a woman shows that she can be elected president. I sincerely hope for the sake for the US and the rest of us that she makes it.

    Anton Wills-Eve, West Kirby,Wirral, England

  3. PoliticalPuck says:

    Barack Obama and his poor judgement are taking the Democratic party down.; I know if Obama is on the top of the ticket that I’m voting McCain in the fall.

  4. John P says:

    PoliticalPuck, why are you hanging out on a Democratic blog if you plan on not supporting our candidate?

  5. Janis

    “As someone who is an artiste at bitching, even I have to admit that you can’t marinate in bitterness.”

    I’d have to join you in that sentiment.

  6. Janis says:

    John P, I’ve said before that I am considering voting McCain in the fall if Obama is the candidate. This is for process reasons. Think about it:

    We’ve got one party right now that won an election by rigging votes and disenfranchising a shitload of people. We’ve got another party that is bumbling and incompetent, but at least not entirely evil.

    If we reward the Democratic party for disenfranchising two states and shoving an unqualified candidate on us, we will have reinforced this behavior in both parties. Instead of one corrupt party and one stupid one, we wil have two corrupt parties and we will never be able to trust a national election again. Ever.

    What do you think American foreign and domestic policies will look like in 20 years if that’s the case?

    The Democrats have got to get slapped down from this nonsense and slapped down hard. After the Greek chorus of wailing we set up after Florida 2000, we dare not permit the nomination of a candidate that got where he is by selectively disenfranchising two states. We will be toast. Whatever damage John McCain does to this country, I can guarantee you that teh damage that will result from that for the next century will far outstrip it. We will never have a trustworthy election ever again. The United States will become a third world dictatorship, the Roman Empire where they slit one another’s throats for power, only with nuclear weapons. I will not act in a way that will reinforce this. The meta-issues of this election outweigh the disgust I feel at electing John McCain by far.

  7. Janis says:

    And I have to ask- – what’s with the bus metaphor this time around? That one’s really caught on this election cycle.

  8. Anton Wills-Eve says:

    How about this for a solution to the party in-fighting? We have recently done it here in Britain.
    Senator Obama agrees to step aside for Senator Clinton providing she puts him on her ticket as vice presidential candidate. They appear chummy and happy as a team in public and McCain can’t possibly fight that. But the agreement goes deeper. Hilary says to Barrack ” Okay by me and I will stand down in four years time and you can run for the White House with me as vice president at the November 2012 elections. That way we both win.”
    Why Hilary first? Well two obvious reasons, firstly she is older and at her political prime at the moment, and secondly it will give Barrack four years to learn the job.
    The important thing is that he should spend the time learning! Over here Blair and Brown did the same thing in 1997,but they didn’t like each other and Blair kept Brown in just ONE job (chancellor of the exchequer) for 10 years so that when he became prime minister on Blair’s resignation- as promised – he didn’t have a clue about anything except how to get as much money out of the public as possible. Clinton and Obama would have to avoid that one.

    Anton Wills-Eve
    West Kirby,Wirral,England.