Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

Instead of disavowing Wright, Obama actually made excuses for him

"His contention that “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community,” stunned many observers who do not equate the black community with Jeremiah Wright. I certainly hope black Americans do not equate the white community with David Duke! Some also highlighted a disturbing double standard.

For example, Barack Obama was one of the first presidential candidates to demand that “shock jock” Don Imus be fired over a racially tinged on-air joke. Obama didn’t care then that Imus ran a charity for sick children. Yet, Rev. Wright’s good works are supposed to absolve him?

And do you remember Trent Lott? Here was a man who made one off-the-cuff remark on Senator Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday, just “trying to make an old man feel good,” as Senator Lott explained. But because of what Strom Thurmond stood for decades earlier, Trent Lott was forced to give up his leadership position in the United States Senate.

There was no grace, no mercy and no forgiveness for Trent Lott and Don Imus. But we’re all supposed to feel “warm and fuzzy” about Jeremiah Wright because of Barack’s testimony.

I nearly fell out of my chair listening to George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America today heaping effusive praise on Obama for his “honesty” and “honor” in NOT renouncing Reverend Wright. Here’s what Stephanopoulos said:

And I think the other intangible here is how voters will respond, not only to the honesty that Barack Obama showed yesterday, not only the sophistication he showed in the speech, but also the honor that he showed. He did not renounce someone that he was under a great pressure to renounce, even though he disagreed with his comments. And I think a lot of voters, even if they’re uncomfortable with Reverend Wright, will respect Barack Obama for that act.”
Let me see if I understand this: George Stephanopoulos thinks it is honorable for a presidential candidate who says he wants to bring us together not to disavow the major racist in his life, who has been a big part of his life, having married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children. How is it honorable not to disavow a racist?

Let me put it another way: If America is going to reach the goal that Obama says he wants – a country that moves beyond race – then every white American should disavow the David Dukes of the world, and every black American should disavow the Jeremiah Wrights and Louis Farrakhan’s of the world.

Obama wants to be our president, the president of all Americans, but he has failed a major character test, because he did not disavow the anti-American racist in his own life.

He also failed a second major character test, in my opinion. He lied to the American people. Days before the Ohio primary two weeks ago, Obama told a group of voters, “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial.” And as the controversy grew, Obama told Fox News last Friday, “None of these statements were ones that I had heard myself personally in the pews.”

But the New York Times reported one year ago that Obama knew enough that he disinvited his pastor from his presidential announcement speech because, as he told Wright, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”

And yesterday he said, “Did I know him [Rev. Wright] to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.”

A big part of Obama’s attraction is that he isn’t Hillary Clinton. He was assumed to be “honest” and “honorable,” to use George Stephanopoulos’ words. But for twenty years, he sat in the pews of a church whose pastor routinely preached hatred for America and hatred for white Americans. He didn’t have the integrity to get up, walk out and not go back.

If he didn’t believe what the pastor was preaching, why was he there? Was Obama just using this church as a launching pad for his political ambitions, as some are suggesting? Maybe. It obviously worked well enough at the local level, and Obama was smart enough to disinvite Wright from his announcement speech last year.

This isn’t “Change we can believe in.” It’s the same old political cynicism that we’re all sick of."

Gary Bauer