There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with.
Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better
There have been times when we wondered what Mr. Obama meant when he talked about rising above traditional divides. This was not such a moment.
Mr. Obama’s eloquent speech should end the debate over his ties to Mr. Wright since there is nothing to suggest that he would carry religion into government.
Whoakay then. End the debate? You just can’t make this stuff up.
Not sure which speech those writers at the NYT’s watched but the one I watched bore no similarity to the one they’re describing. To me the whole damn thing sounded like an admittance of the fact that Wright is a angry black man, his anger is justifiable, and that was one of the reasons he sought him out as a mentor anyways because there IS injustice in this country towards the black race and Obama is the man to fix it.
Fix it by acknowledging it and then ensuring that the poor and downtrodden become even more dependent on the Government.
A better description comes from Allah:
If the last 20 years count for anything, the best estimates of his “fundamental beliefs” are that the United States is a racist hegemon begging to have jets flown into office towers to teach it a thing or two about imperialism. He’s a gutless, opportunistic coward who was afraid to say an unkind word to one of the power brokers in the black community on whom he counted for votes as an Illinois politician, and now that he’s a national figure he’s throwing the same guy under the bus to preserve the illusion that he’s a “post-racial” politician. And you’re sitting there cheering him on because you don’t care what sort of idiocy or anti-American vitriol you have to swallow to put a Democrat back into the White House. Does that about sum it up? Have I missed any “nuance” in the “U.S. government created the AIDS virus” rant that Obama never, ever heard anything about and that you’re now willing to wave away?
Now THAT is a most excellent rant.
Are you smiling after that? Well, get ready to frown and hurl because Chrissy is in the house gushing a geyser:
“I think this is the kind of speech I think first graders should see, people in the last year of college should see before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract. Something that you just check in with, now and then, like reading Great Gatsby and Huckleberry Finn. Read this speech, once in a while, ladies and gentlemen. This is us. It’s us with the scab ripped off.”
Can this man be for real? The Great Gatsby and Huck?
Juan Williams has a better take, calling it a eloquent attempt to fix the situation but he didn’t take any responsibility for sitting in that pew for 20 years, basically condoning the hate speech. Juan even points out that the man didn’t disown the racists statements because:
that would be disavowing the black community, so now he’s saying Reverend Wright is the equivalent of the black community, and of course for a biracial kid who grew up in Hawaii, went to a elite prep school before Columbia and Harvard law he is desperately trying to assert that he is part of that black community. He was using the church and Reverend Wright to gain a political base in the black community in the south side of Chicago. But why do you do that when you hear this guy, you know, damning America.
As I stated in my earlier post, this speech wasn’t going to change many minds. Those who hated him before still hate him now, those who loved him…hell, they didn’t see anything wrong with Wrights hate anyways:
[Obama’s speech] was amazing,” Gregory Davis, a financial adviser and Obama supporter from Philadelphia, told me. “I think he addressed the issue, and if that does not address the issue, I don’t know what else can be said about it. That was just awesome oratory.”
I asked Davis what his personal reaction was when he saw video clips of sermons in which Rev. Wright said, “God damn America,” called the United States the “U.S. of KKK A,” and said that 9/11 was “America’s chickens…coming home to roost.” “As a member of a traditional Baptist, black church, I wasn’t surprised,” Davis told me. “I wasn’t offended by anything the pastor said. A lot of things he said were absolutely correct…The way he said it may not have been the most appropriate way to say it, but as far as a typical black inner-city church, that’s how it’s said.”
Vernon Price, a ward leader in Philadelphia’s 22nd Precinct, told me Obama’s speech was “very courageous.” When I asked his reaction to Rev. Wright, Price said, “A lot of things that he said were true, whether people want to accept it, or believe it, or not. People believe in their hearts that a lot of what he said was true.”
Rev. Alyn Waller, of the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, was effusive about Obama’s performance. “I thought it was masterful,” he told me. Waller explained that he knows Rev. Wright and the preaching tradition from which he comes. “I think much of what he had to say was on point in terms of America needs to challenge her foreign policy,” Waller told me. “While it may be divisive to talk about 9/11 as chickens coming home to roost, what was really being said there is that America cannot believe that our hands are totally innocent in worldwide violence. So at the core of his arguments, I think there is a truth.”
So which way did you think they were going to go after today’s speech?
As Chrissy and the NYT’s have proven, they went back to drooling.
This makes my point quite well:
[S]ixty-five percent said it didn’t make a difference in their view of Obama. However, of those whose opinion is changed, the net impact is very negative. Thirty percent said it made them have a less favorable view, whereas 2 percent said it made their view more favorable…
Democrats are especially apt to say their views are unchanged, with 76 percent saying it has made no difference of their view of Obama, 15 percent saying it made their view less favorable and 2 percent saying it made their view more favorable.
Republicans are the most likely to say their view has been affected: 47 percent say they’ve become less favorable, and 53 percent said it did not make a different.
Sixty-one percent of independent voters say they are unaffected, but 36 percent said it made their view less favorable. Two percent of independents said it made them more favorable view.