Monday, April 28, 2008

Wright's Wrath: The Unfortunate Gift that Keeps on Giving. It's Time for Obama to Strongly Disavow Himself from this Albatross

If on May 6th Sen. Barack Obama loses big in Indiana and experiences further defeat in the remaining primaries, in effect sinking his campaign, he'll have his pastor, mentor and spiritual advisor to thank for it. In what could be a political disaster for Obama, Rev. Jeremiah Wright's 72-hour "Sink Obama Tour" consisted of three bizarre, narcissistic attention-sucking diatribes first on Bill Moyers' PBS show Friday, followed by a meandering, race-baiting sermon at the NAACP's Freedom Fund Dinner in Detroit Sunday evening, and capped by another inflammatory speech Monday before the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

I feel sorry for Obama, I really do. He's a good man trying to run a good, honest campaign, and he truly doesn't deserve Wright's Wrath. But he's just been thrown under the bus by the man he loyally defended and protected just a few weeks ago in a much-acclaimed speech about race in America. The man who for a living--or as a religious calling, I'm not exactly sure which--incessantly rails on about racial injustice in America, sure seems hellbent on derailing the historic candidacy of the man who stands to be the first black president of the United States.

As Salon's Joan Walsh said, "Obama's been let down by Wright, who couldn't suppress his own hurt and anger at his treatment by the "corporate media" long enough to think about the presidential hopes of his renowned spiritual mentee, Obama. And so he pops up during Obama's worst week yet on the campaign trail, in the wake of his sobering loss to Clinton in Pennsylvania. I can't help but wonder: Maybe Wright needs Obama to fail to justify his pessimistic view of American promise. The whole thing is very sad." Wow. Think about that for a second. Could it really be possible that a "President Obama" might actually be bad for business for Wright?

As if his past "God Damn America" and other controversial statements weren't enough of a liability to Obama, the clearly angry and ego-bruised preacher spent the past three days hopping from one event to another, alternating between Obama-bashing and massive delusion and denial over his controversial remarks, which he claims were taken out of context. But the net effect of it all is simple: Wright's Hat-Trick from Hell couldn't have come at a worse time for Obama as he heads to two key primaries next week in North Carolina and Indiana.

Enough's enough. Obama needs to send this narcissistic fool packing on a one-way trip back to Chicago. He needs to, deserves to, come out swinging. If he's going to salvage his campaign, he must quickly disengage from his once-friend and mentor with a strongly worded repudiation of what this megalomaniac religious fraud stands for. He needs to convincingly tell America--yes, perhaps white working class America--that "Wright does not speak for me, does not speak for black America, and is not the man I once knew. I unequivocally denounce his incendiary, racially-divisive rhetoric."

Maybe then can Obama successfully distance himself from this self-serving lunatic who's outlandish behavior these past three days has done more harm to Obama's campaign than white America could in a hundred years.


Anonymous said...

It has crossed my mind as well that an Obama win would be bad for business for J. Wright. Plus he sure does enjoy the limelight.

Obama's dilemma tho is that in disavowing Wright, he risks alienating his African American constituency, also fatal to his candidacy.

Anonymous said...

good point. plus, it'll make his great speech, (and there's no if's ands or buts about it, it was a GREAT speech) moot. He did a wonderful thing for this country when he made that speech. He pointed out the emptiness of the "sound bite" lives we lead. I say Obama should EMBRACE Rev Wright. Take a play out of the republicans playbook. Jujitsu the suckers. Come out and say, "The Reverend is a great man. You got a problem with that?" Seriously. The only people who have a problem is scared white people. I'd actually rather lose the election than cave into that fear.

Anonymous said...

what drives me insane is that this stuff never happens to the republicans.
no matter who they associate with or what they do they seem to get a pass. now we have two damaged candidates running against the keating five guy who voted against the mlk holiday and who is cruising along...muthafucka...

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused...
Reading what you wrote, Andy, and at least two of the comments here leads me to believe that we must have seen different speeches.
You were watching the NAACP speech live this past weekend, or was it someone else, someplace else?
The speech I saw was totally uplifting and inclusive. He made a couple of digs and a reference to the smear campaigns that attempt to drive a wedge using race, religion, sexual orientation, language and culture, pointing out the real divide: that between the haves, have mores and the rest of us. I was inspired by his dressing down of the real elites; he said things that connected with how I feel. Real talk in the vein of "liberation theology", like I haven't heard in a while.

Andy, you should get out of that urban cocoon and take a look at the small villages, towns and cities; people are hurting bad. The jobs are gone. What's unskilled service jobs left have depressed wages where a college degree is a liability. Many skilled labor, engineering, programming and tech jobs are still here, yet stagnant. As the boomers retire, where will they get the replacements? Most of the entry level jobs for these fields are now overseas. What are they going to do, ship them overseas too, or increase the H1B visa holders here. Either way, what does that do for the citizens of the US.
Sorry for the rant, but unity is needed. The inside the beltway crowd Republican and Democrat, have turned our country into a banana republic over the last 30 years, now complete with our own dictator. They've nearly completed the job by looting the country, selling off our natural resources, business and industrial base.
There is a need to tear down that plantation mentality. Liberate us from the opression, and it isn't going to happen from the top down, cause the top doesn't want any change.
If if all the bad the smear merchants can find with Wright in his loooong career of public speaking are what's published; and what you believe you see Andy as race baiting, incorrectly IMO, then the man is on the correct path! The only people who will really care, and find him offensive are the same people who were going to vote for a Conservative regardless.
My white, 82 year old, life long conservative Republican mother thought his NAACP speech was wonderful and her very Christian mind got it! I thought he was very clear and his statement of fact about the history and experience of blacks in society. I felt he was speaking to me, even if just metaphorically, by bringing the collective historical experience of black Americans to this down pressed white man (and his upper middle class mother).
Afterwards my mother asked me who I was going to vote for in November, and she told me she could not vote Republican after these past years, this was the first for her to discuss politics with me.
You know what was important to her? Health care, and the general lack of regard for human dignity, human rights and the suffering of all the poor. She also claims to not have ever seen the numbers of new poor and the downward incomes of many of the families in her church and village; it has always been that if you worked, you got ahead. She believes too many people are now worse off than their parents. This is big, and spurred by the NAACP speech.

Anonymous said...

I'm really getting tired about all the things Andy says Obama must do as he completely ignores the things that Hillary must do.

For example, she should come out and disavow her vote to go to war. She refuses to do it and it is an albatross on her neck. The souls of dead American troops are on her record just as surely as their blood is on their hands.

So let's weigh things Andy....

Hmmm. Let's see. What's more important? A cheap rhetorical point Andy Ostroy can make about the words of another man that Obama has a relationship with? Or the words and actions of Hillary Clinton that contributed to thousands of dead Americans and even more dead Iraquis.

And the sad thing, Andy, is that YOU KNOW that Hillary didn't really believe in that vote, but rather made it to position herself more moderately - as her husband did - for the general election she was CERTAIN she'd be running in since she had nothing but contempt for the candidates opposing her in the primary.

Seems to me she's made a TON of mistakes, not the least of which is having the poor judgement to underestimate the most threatening opponent she had.

And ask yourself this - in a war (the primaries) that meant everything to Hillary, why did she act exactly like George W Bush? By that I mean to say, she planned on a short war followed by the glow of a happy victory lap and didn't count on any insurgency.

Seems to me that she's unfit for office and continues to prove it everyday.

What is this peculiar addiction you have to these crooks, Andy?

Anonymous said...

Another strong lesson in just why presidents can be so important ... Supreme Court nominations. Thanks to the work of George W. Bush we have a Supreme Court that has ruled – on a 6-3 vote – that it is OK for states to require picture IDs from voters before they cast a vote.

The left is not amused.

And just why is the left not amused? That one is easy. Because the left – and Democrats in particular – are depending on illegally cast votes for their future power. Just why do you think Democrats are so dead set against doing something to control the Hispanic invasion? These people are future voters? Ask Loretta Sanchez from Southern California how she managed to beat Bob Dornan in 1996. Illegal votes, that's how. You might not know that Ms. Loretta ran for office before .. but with her married Anglo name. She changed her last name to Sanchez and the Hispanic population came out to support her ... and we don't just mean the legal Hispanic community. When the Republicans wanted to start an investigation of illegals voting in that election the Democrats predictably started screaming racism. Racism ... the great Democrat refuge. If there had been a picture ID requirement in that district in 1996 Loretta Sanchez would never have been elected.

Did you know that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to kill the Indiana picture ID requirement couldn't find any victims? What a tragedy it is when a Democrat can't find a victim. The plaintiffs could not produce one shred of evidence that any legal Indiana resident would be prevented from casting a legal vote by a law requiring a picture ID.

The law that was approved by the Supremes is an Indiana law, and it is very stringent. Let's see how it affects the Indiana primary.

By the way, Justice Souter in his dissent made some remark about the "right to vote." Even some of the Justices don't get it.

This is really unfair. How will the Democrats cheat during the next election ??

Anonymous said...

Al Gore LIED to us. HE PLAYED ON OUR FEARS. Global Warming is a scam.

Enjoying higher food costs ? Thank Al Gore for casting the 1994 tie breaking vote that led to a methanol mandate from the EPA. Gore told us that food costs won't go up one penny.

Don't believe the Democrats who will tell you anything you want to hear about Health Care. Universal Health Care is not free and will cost this country greatly. Of course, Democrats don't care, they just want free stuff from the nanny state.

Anonymous said...

How can Obama say that twenty years of his life as a Wright devotee was all a terrible mistake. He just didn't know what a radical, divisive, ego-maniacal,hateful, person his spritiual advisor, mentor, "uncle", inspiration, friend was. That would make Obama appear to be an idiot or a liar.

Secondly, Wright got a standing ovation after his speech at the NAACP. Those people are for and agree with Wright. If Obama disavows Wright he loses a large part of the black vote.

There is no way out for Obama. He has lost his chance this time.

Anonymous said...

Hillary did a great job making sure that Obama cannot get elected in 2008 so she can run again in 2012.

If Obama disavows Wright, he loses part of the black vote.

If Hillary becomes the nominee, the DNC loses part of the black vote

If Obama does not disavow Wright, he loses part of the white working class vote

McCain will be in the White House in 2008. This is great news. For once, this conservative will say "Thank You" to the Clintons.

Anonymous said...

How is that Hillary is responsible for Obama 20 years ago becoming a member of a radical black church with a radical preacher; that he decided to keep that a secret when he became a presidential candidate; that he couldn't keep his wife's mouth shut; that he became friends with a landlord crook and a terrorist; that he backed himself into a corner where he couldn't disavor the preacher or embrace him; and that he didn't develop debating or fighting skills? If Hillary is respobsibie for that and has the power to make such events occur she could rule the world.

Anonymous said...

I just want Andy to compare Hillary personally voting in favor of sending American boys to die in a pointless war to what someone associated with Obama said.

That's what I really want to see.

Anonymous said...


It's beyond naive for anyone to believe if Obama denounces Wright that this "issue" will go away. Those who do not support Obama will not be mollified by anything he does related to Wright, it's a foregone conclusion. And their hypocrisy is total given guilt by association can easily be leveled against Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain.

The real political caluculation for Obama is if this is hurting him with political independents or Democrats and there's not one shred of objective evidence I've found to show that it is. Why is this fact not being discussed by the chattering class? Because Obama is leading and it's little more than sport/good ratings for the MSM to try to kneecap the leader in any race. And let's be honest, Rev. Wright makes for really good TV soundbites in their little 5 minute segments between the latest ads for Viagra, Cadillac and Fidelity investment products.

Obama is smart enough to know this. He's also smart enough to know that the MSM isn't interested in telling us that Obama's numbers with small-town white people in Pennsylvania actually IMPROVED versus Ohio DESPITE all this distraction with Wright and "bittergate".

I think he's doing the right thing by making a populist appeal to the people of Indiana and North Carolina instead of groveling at the feet of the MSM - especially the supposed liberal TV media that's commonly thought to be in his back pocket - over this "issue" du jour.

Sidney Condorcet said...

Food inflation is the worst it has been in over 20 years. The cost of rice, corn, wheat are going to continue to skyrocket in the face of global warming-related droughts and the population boom and economic success story, and the concomitant increase in demand, currently occurring in India and China.

The price of a barrel of oil will near $200 by the end of the year. A gallon of gas may cost $10 in the not-too-distant future. Such a price will crush the American economy as our transportation system has been almost entirely geared toward car travel since Eisenhower's 1955 highway bill. We just do not have the money (what with the tax cuts for the rich, corporate tax loopholes, and Iraq war siphoning money out of the treasury faster than anyone could imagine) to fund a real mass transit system that would take into account our depleted energy reserves.

Wages are stagnant. People are worker harder every day for less money. 47 million Americans are without health care. One catastrophic accident or illness can send a middle class family into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy itself has become less accessible after the credit card industry's Bankruptcy reform act passed in 2005. Home foreclosures are skyrocketing. The value of the dollar has been in rapid decline for several years. Our great grandchildren will be paying our Chinese creditors.

This country faces grave obstacles. Our moment as the "city on the hill" is nearing its end as our economy crumbles and our moral credibility (see: torture, iraq, global warming nonaction) diminishes.

And this is what matters to you Ostroy? This is what you post about? This is what the "freak show" MSM gives us day in and day out.

Obama needs to stand up and get indignant. Indignant at Wright's sideshow theatrics, indignant at the media's continued fascination with the freak show bullshit, indignant with respect that America and the world is in dire straits. We're at a cross-roads. America needs smart, bold leadership that cuts across ideological differences if we are to solve the very real threats we're facing.

Try blogging about food inflation or energy for once, Andy. Your readers will appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

The Obama team needs to figure a way out of this. He has indeed painted himself into a corner. Even if this does not hurt him in his polls in the primary, the Rev Wright's contributions will cause him to be hung out to dry in the general election.
Plus right now he appears to be waffling not only on this but on HRC's challenge to debate. The waffling image is hurting his campaign as well.

Anonymous said...

What evidence do we have that Obama would offer bold leadership? He didn't show it in the Illinois state legislature, nor in the U.S. Senate. He sure doesn't sound bold when asked about the issues in a debate. No wonder he is the "hope" candidate.

Sidney Condorcet said...

1:30pm, Hillary Clinton is not bold. McCain wishes to extend reckless tax cuts for the uber-rich and stay in Iraq for an indefinite period of time.

So we have 3 flawed candidates. THREE!! I don't care if people don't vote for Obama on substantive grounds. But this sideshow has grown wearying. Our country is in imminent, mortal peril and we need to be discussing the grave crises our nation faces with clarity and seriousness. But here we are constantly talking about a crazy pastor.

While the MSM laughs and points, our nation burns. We blindly follow the daily circus and don't dwell on the cruel realities that are setting in around us.

Anonymous said...


I want to say hallelujah and amen twice to you for your impassioned and thoroughly accurate comments.

This infighting between Dems over incredibly inconsequential bullshit has GOT to stop as there is too much at stake. Like you, I hope those with a forum, such as Mr. Ostroy, will soon begin to refocus their efforts at drawing distinction between Democratic and GOP candidates on real nuts and bolts issues instead of frippery.

Anonymous said...

If character, experience, ideology, strength, intelligence, integrity, ability, determination and the ability to stand up to strong forces don't count then let's just draw straws for the choice between Hillary and Obama, and then draw straws between McCain and the Dem. Canidate.

That suggestion is no dumber than those who say forget Wright, forget everything and concentrate on the issues. Character is the key to materializing ideas. Key to character is how once thinks and the ideals and principles one holds. Wright's character would never promote well-being for all Americans if he were president. By the same token, anyone who has listened and passively assosciated with such ideas for twenty years is not principled enough for the well-being of our country.

Character is destiny.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear Obama's speech and Q&A today? He's shocked, shocked at the "performance"given by Wright yesterday. That was a man Obama did not know. Obama wants us to believe that Wright suddenly changed yesterday and raved and ranted about aids for the first time, the horrible government of America, and all the rest, for the first time, and now he, Obama is angered and outraged. And even the man Wright "used to be" was not really his "mentor", "spiritual advisor" or "counselor" but merely his "pastor". So Obama has denounced the words and won't talk to Wright until maybe later in the future. In the meantime, although the new pastor defends Wright, and says, like the Bible verse, He comes with a sword, Obama hasn't decided if he will leave the church because he goes to church, not for the pastor, but to get more faith.

Either Wright had a severe nervous breakdown over the weekend and devloped a deranged personality evident for the first time, or Obama is not telling the truth, or Obama is a very poor judge of seeing clues and judging character. Obama also said that as far as Black Liberation Theology is concerned, he knows nothing about it since he's not a theologian. All he knows is that the sermons he heard were for social justice.

When asked he said Michelle is with him in his anger at Wright. I guess she's had a change of perspective too after all these years; I bet American is no longer "mean" to her.

Sidney Condorcet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"pundits" are elitists, but I think Rachael Maddow goes to far by continually calling the working class Obama needs to win as the "Bubba factor."

Sidney Condorcet said...

No one says "forget Wright." I said that considering all THREE candidates have serious flaws with regard to their respective CHARACTERS then let's focus up on what really counts: the issues.

4:56pm implies that Wright is a stain on Obama's character while Clinton and/or McCain are unimpeachable.

What a fantasy!?!

I don't even know where to start with Clinton. Working for a communist law firm in Northern California? Corporate whoring for Wal-Mart? Dissing house moms who make cookies? Her penchant for secrecy which doomed her Health Care reform effort? Her vendatta against and the public trashing of the other female victims of Bill's dalliances? Her Whitewater and cattle future shenanigans? Her role in Travelgate? Her repeated lies regarding Bosnia "sniper fire"? Her embrace of Richard Mellon Scaiffe, the ringleader of the "vast right-wing conspiracy"? Her vote for the Iraq War? Her vote FOR the anti-flag burning amdendment? Mainting a relationship with a man who has publicly embarrassed you by fucking and humiliating many other women because it's best for your career? The fake Southern accent? Cultivating the "woman of the people" image by downing boilermakers while taking more PAC and lobbyist money than anyone? That she's #1 in earmarks out of any Senator, ever, with 2.3 billion of it?

Oh, and how about McCain. He's all character right? No flaws.
May want to look into his Keating Five past and the S&L crisis. You may want to look into his cozy ties with lobbyists, who are running his campaign. How about his flip-flop on torture? What about his flip flop on fiscal responsibility and extending Bush's tax cuts? How about his very public embrace of people he once called "agents of intolerance"? What about his vicious temper, and how publicly told dozens of Senators to "fuck off"? What about his dogged determination to stay in Iraq for a hundred years? Oh, yeah...He's got tons of "character."

Character is indeed destiny, 4:56pm. But each of the three remaining characters have serious character flaws. You don't even bother to gloss over Clinton's or McCain's flaws, which seems to suggest you're really just anti-Obama. It has not been successfully argued by any pundit quite yet how Obama's character flaws are any worse than McCain's or Clintons rather serious flaws.

Anonymous said...

Andy is a coward. He can't answer a simple question.

What is worse?

Hillary knowingly voting in favor of a pointless war, just to position herself as a moderate during the general she "knew" she'd be in which resulted in thousands of dead Americans


Someone Obama is close to saying stupid stuff.