It’s clear that John McCain thinks Jeremiah Wright is Barack Obama’s equivalent of a Swift Boat:
On Friday, Senator John McCain’s campaign forwarded to reporters an article in The Wall Street Journal…
And the Wall Street Journal is only too obliging to start the ball rolling with this disgusting article. First, can anyone tell me why Barack Obama has to explain or defend what his pastor says? I belong to a synagogue, don’t attend every Shabbat, and frankly don’t know most of the time what our rabbi preaches. If I ran for president why should I have to explain or defend her words?
It is true that Obama has a close relationship with Wright and named his book after the title of a Wright sermon. But how does that make Obama responsible or answerable in any way for Wright’s beliefs? Where I come from Jews are taught to think for themselves. We could have views different from our rabbi. We could even tell him or her so. In fact, I’ve heard probably hundreds of rabbinic sermons with which I disagreed, some violently so. So why would anyone think that what Wright preaches is what Obama believes?
Now that you’re wondering what the hell was so bad about what Wright said let’s quote the damn WSJ piece of shit story:
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor of Mr. Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, gave the sermon at the school’s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel in Washington on Jan. 15, 2006.
“We’ve got more black men in prison than there are in college,” he began. “Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body.”
Mr. Wright thundered on: “America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”
His voice rising, Mr. Wright said, “We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. . . . We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means. . . .”
Concluding, Mr. Wright said: “We started the AIDS virus . . . We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty. . . .”
If you review these comments it’s clear that this is a man who is trying to be provocative. A man who speaks boldly, grandly even overstating his case. A man who probably wants you to argue with him. A man who doesn’t feel that he has the last word or the sole truth.
If the WSJ has its way, then it will help ensure that a black man STILL cannot get elected president of the United States, which will, in turn, prove Wright to be correct on that score.
While “we” certainly didn’t put Mandela in prison we did support apartheid until the bitter end as Wright contends. I can remember Ronald Reagan denouncing the divestment campaign and arguing that the U.S. had no leverage to influence the white regime there.
Wright certainly gets carried away in denouncing U.S. support for “Zionism,” again using it as if it were a dirty word. This is a characteristic of certain elements of the American left. But Obama has made clear his views about Israel and they are nowhere near Wright’s. So what does the former have to explain?
Returning to Wright: in truth we HAVE ignored the Palestinians and DO brand many who speak out against Israeli policy as anti-Semitic. Nothing wrong with what he said there. The comments about the U.S. “starting AIDS” seem bizarre. And given that they are followed by an ellipsis (the entire larger quoted passage is filled with multiple ellipses, a danger sign in any right-wing political tract as this one is), one would want to know what followed this statement.
In a way, it’s sad that Obama has to respond at all to the partisan ranting of a Ronald Kessler, a neocon journalist hoping to make his mark during this election campaign by being one of Obama’s chief baiters. But I suppose if Obama didn’t speak out as he has and denounce Wright’s remarks, then the Rev. Wright might turn into Obama’s version of the Swift Boat campaign. John McCain will certainly do his best to make it so.
If anyone has any doubt about how smarmy and dishonest Ronald Kessler is get a load of this posing:
Much as most of us would appreciate the symbolism of a black man ascending to the presidency, what we have in Barack Obama is a politician whose closeness to Mr. Wright underscores his radical record.
The media have largely ignored Mr. Obama’s close association with Mr. Wright.
What does it mean to say you would “appreciate the symbolism of a black man” becoming president?? Does it mean that you have no objections to the idea of a theoretical black man rising to the highest office in the land? It’s just any real live black man who might actually become president with whom you have problems.
The “media have ignored” Obama’s relationship with Wright? What planet is this guy living on? It’s been droned about endlessly on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and all the other far-right media sites not to mention scores of mainstream media outlets as well. What Kessler means to say is that if he has anything to do with it, it will be bored into our skulls until we’re so exhausted by it that we wouldn’t vote for Obama if he were running for dogcatcher.