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Obama on Wright: He Really Means It This Time.--

Today, Barack Obama vigorously denounced the words of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and said that his relationship with Wright had changed, but stopped short of explicitly disowning him.

So how is this any different than the last time, his speech in Philadelphia? This time Obama seems actually to mean his denunciations:

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: . . . Yesterday, we saw a very different vision of America. I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday.

You know, I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992. I have known Reverend Wright for almost 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought, either.

Now, I've already denounced the comments that had appeared in these previous sermons. As I said, I had not heard them before. And I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church. He's built a wonderful congregation. The people of Trinity are wonderful people. And what attracted me has always been their ministry's reach beyond the church walls. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS, when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century, when he equates the United States wartime efforts with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced. And that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally here today. . . .

But what I do want him to be very clear about, as well as all of you and the American people, is that when I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it. It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am. . . .

And so when I start hearing comments about conspiracy theories and AIDS and suggestions that somehow Minister Farrakhan has — has been a great voice in the 20th century, then that goes directly at who I am and what I believe this country needs. . . .

But the insensitivity and the outrageousness, of his statements and his performance in the question-and-answer period yesterday, I think, shocked me. It surprised me. . . .

Obama's sense of outrage over Rev. Wright's remarks now seems genuine.

But why?

Most of what Obama points to (AIDS, Farrakhan, etc.) was said before, as Obama well knew.

What pushed Obama over the edge seems to have been the insult to him personally, not the outrageousness of Wright's views:

OBAMA: And what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing. Anybody who knows me and anybody who knows what I'm about knows that — that I am about trying to bridge gaps and that I see the — the commonality in all people. . . .

I want to use this press conference to make people absolutely clear that obviously whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this. I don't think that he showed much concern for me. I don't — more importantly, I don't think he showed much concern for what we are trying to do in this campaign and what we're trying to do for the American people and with the American people.

And obviously, he's free to speak out on issues that are of concern to him and he can do it in any ways that he wants. But I feel very strongly that — well, I want to make absolutely clear that I do not subscribe to the views that he expressed. I believe they are wrong. I think they are destructive. And to the extent that he continues to speak out, I do not expect those views to be attributed to me. . . .

But at a certain point, if what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally, and then he questions whether or not you believe it in front of the National Press Club, then that's enough. That's — that's a show of disrespect to me. It's a — it is also, I think, an insult to what we've been trying to do in this campaign. . . .

One more thing: Obama appears to attribute to the press the idea that Reverend Wright was his "spiritual adviser" or "spiritual mentor" (Does anyone know whether this characterization arose in the press?):

OBAMA: I know that one thing that he said was true, was that he wasn't — you know, he was never my, quote-unquote, "spiritual adviser."

He was never my "spiritual mentor." He was — he was my pastor. And so to some extent, how, you know, the — the press characterized in the past that relationship, I think, wasn't accurate.

UPDATE: Two additional points:

1. Essentially, in the Philadelphia speech, Barack Obama used his rhetorical talents to make excuses for words and ideas with which he expressed genuine disagreement. Today Obama used his rhetorical talents to denounce those ideas. Before he was trying to justify his weak response to Wright. Today Obama seemed to be holding back from making even stronger comments than the vigorous and heartfelt denunciations he made.

2. I think that part of Obama's approach to Wright is a conscious "Christian" effort to "hate the sin, love the sinner."

dre (mail):
The "Good Ship Hope" has hit the "Isle of Wright".
4.29.2008 8:32pm
JB:
This is probably true. Obama came to Chicago and, in order to get Black Cred, joined a large, important, Black church. He could have gotten God anywhere, but he came to the church he did for a reason, which was not Jeremiah Wright's beliefs, but the size and importance of the congregation.

Obama's membership of that particular church is basically analogous to his embrace of farm subsidies shortly before arriving in Iowa. That would tarnish his image just as badly in the eyes of hero-worshipping followers, but
4.29.2008 8:34pm
JB:
but I accidentally hit "post."

Carrying on,
but to most of his actual followers it's much more forgivable than the alternative, because they don't expect him to not be a politician.
4.29.2008 8:35pm
Semi-Republican (mail):
Sorry to violate a famous internet law on the first post, but Obama reminds me a lot of Albert Speer. Let me paraphrase him: "I was Hitler's Personal Architect, his Armaments Minister (= dictator of entire German war economy) , and not to mention his best friend for most of a decade, but I never knew anything about the killing of the Jews - I was as shocked and outraged as anyone else."

Speer did one better than Obama and at least had the sense to admit a "kind of collective guilt." Who knows if he meant it (I doubt it), but it saved him from the hangman at Nuremburg.

There's no way Obama didn't know all of this about Wright after 20 years. His outrage and denials are nonsense. If he was smart, he'd admit to knowing all about his pastor's views all along. He'd admit he bought into that worldview for a time but then say he no longer does. Then he'd explain why and uplift us all with his lofty vision of hope and change.

At least it would be possible for that to be true, however unlikely.
4.29.2008 8:41pm
SIG357:
From what I've seen of his followers online, they expect him not to be a politician. They expect him to a near deity. They think he is The One, like Neo in The Matrix.
4.29.2008 8:41pm
Justin (mail):
Yes, Wright's personal and political views smell just like furnices burning with the corpese of Jews.
4.29.2008 8:45pm
SIG357:
Sarcasm, Justin?
4.29.2008 8:56pm
MXE (mail):
I am not a big Obama fan, but I'm not especially inclined to question his motivations here or pick him apart psychologically. His reaction is completely consistent with a guy who is totally fed up with a lunatic "friend" (and with friends like that...) and has decided that enough is enough. Wright has given him plenty of reasons to feel that way.

Of course, it's almost certainly true that Obama joined this church at least in great part for politically calculated reasons, but he seems sincerely pissed at this point.
4.29.2008 8:57pm
James Lindgren (mail):
Needless to say, the better analogy for your point might have been Capt. Renault's discovery of gambling in Casablanca or Jimmy Carter's shock that the Soviet Union was not nice or that the Ayatollah Khomeini was not like the Christian fundamentalist preachers he knew.
4.29.2008 8:58pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
If Obama had just denounced Wright at the beginning, he would have been seen as betraying "the Black Community". If he had done nothing, Wright questions would have dogged him all the way to November.

But, if Wright turns up the volume on his views... WAY up, then Obama has cover to denounce him without pesky questions as to why he kept hanging around for 20 years.

Verrrry slick.
4.29.2008 9:02pm
wooga:
... Or is Obama a modern day Sgt Shultz? "I see nothing!"

If Obama had made today's speech the first time around, he would have earned a lot more respect from me. Instead, I have a tough time taking him seriously now. If it weren't for that prior speech, I would say that this speech today would have closed the issue off for good.
4.29.2008 9:05pm
wooga:
Incidentally, do Hogan's Heroes references trigger Godwin's Law?
4.29.2008 9:05pm
Public_Defender (mail):
Another possibility is that Obama was giving Wright an honorable way to step away from Wright's more inflammatory statements. In context, Obama could point out, Wright took his anger and turned it into constructive messages of personal responsibility, staying off drugs, working hard, taking care of your family, etc., etc., etc.

But instead of taking the honorable path Obama offered, Wright took the opportunity and shoved it back in Obama's face.
4.29.2008 9:19pm
JB:
Sig357,
You're falling victim to the Volume Fallacy, in which the loudest, most obnoxious members of any group are conflated with the group as a whole. Obama has his cultists, but the bulk of his support comes from non-cultists.
4.29.2008 9:20pm
Cornellian (mail):
Today, Barack Obama vigorously denounced the words of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and said that his relationship with Wright had changed, but stopped short of explicitly disowning him.

And thus the game continues, with the usual suspects insisting that "vigorously denounce" is insufficient and that yet another speech using the presumably stronger term "explicitly disown" is now required. Just keep making up more terms and insisting the candidate needs to make another speech to use the term you just made up. The goal is to insist the candidate talk about nothing else between now and election day.
4.29.2008 9:20pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Is it just my imagination, or are expression of Obama's disagreement with Rev. Wright directly proportional to the amount of "context" the pastor is providing, for what were previously just "sound bites" and "snippets"?

First, Obama didn't think Wright's church was particularly controversial. Then, he claimed he'd never really heard those kinds of controversial statements. Later, they weren't his opinions and values, but we were all to understand that they were authentic expressions of the black experience in America...or something.

Now Obama is semi-sorta-outraged, but not merely because Wright's comments are hurting Obama's campaign.

I believe Obama is completely sincere. Oops! I gotta go. The Easter Bunny left the gate open, and my unicorn has gotten out again.
4.29.2008 9:20pm
Rock On (www):
If the liberals read McCain as uncharitably as some of you are reading Obama, things would get very ugly indeed.
4.29.2008 9:24pm
Dude Cool (mail):
Congrats to the Bernsteins!

Oh, and Obama did the right thing today. To bad it took him this long. Of course, he shouldn't have gone to a church headed by a racist, paranoid lunatic in the first place. As a Christian, I carefully screen my pastors for wackjobiness. Paul demands that we do no less.
4.29.2008 9:32pm
Dude Cool (mail):
Rock on, how about the DNC's lying "100 years" advert? http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/dnc_vs_mccain.html
4.29.2008 9:35pm
PersonFromPorlock:
As I just remarked on another VC thread - but 'way down in the comments - it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Obama's been being hauled willy-nilly to church all these years by his wife and has been trying to keep peace at home by avoiding criticism of Wright.
4.29.2008 9:37pm
merevaudevillian:
Perhaps it's been a longstanding plot. From a New York Times piece on April 30, 2007:

Mr. Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama's audition for the ultimate establishment job.

"If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me," Mr. Wright said with a shrug. "I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen."
4.29.2008 9:43pm
Elliot Reed (mail):
And thus the game continues, with the usual suspects insisting that "vigorously denounce" is insufficient and that yet another speech using the presumably stronger term "explicitly disown" is now required. Just keep making up more terms and insisting the candidate needs to make another speech to use the term you just made up.
Indeed. If he gives the "explicitly disown" speech, they'll complain that he didn't absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all connection with him.
4.29.2008 9:45pm
Gaius Marius:
It is rather amusing to see Barack Hussein Mohamad Obama adopting the "Hogan's Heroes/Sergeant Schultz" defense with regard to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
4.29.2008 9:45pm
LM (mail):
It's ironic that the same people who question Obama's commitment to build bridges between people with disparate views condemn him for having contacts with people he doesn't agree with.
4.29.2008 9:51pm
KenC:
It's curious how the liberal media shows clips of that crazy guy Hagee over and over, with his calling the Catholic Church a "great whore" and his claims that a gay pride parade caused God to punish New Orleans with Katrina. I mean, just because McCain has proudly accepted Hagee's endorsement, and never really repudiated him. I mean, it was 24/7 there for awhile. And they keep hounding McCain to release his wife's tax information, just because that's where all the couple's money is. And they keep playing that "100 years" clip, just because McCain thinks it would be just fine to stay in Iraq for 100 years. And constantly going on about McCain's flip flops on the issues, just because he flip flops on the issues! Darn that liberal media, darn them, I say!
4.29.2008 9:55pm
Javert:

He was never my "spiritual mentor." He was — he was my pastor.

This is, to borrow a phrase, "nonsense on stilts." A pastor is a spiritual advisor/mentor.
4.29.2008 9:56pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
And thus the game continues, with the usual suspects insisting that "vigorously denounce" is insufficient and that yet another speech using the presumably stronger term "explicitly disown" is now required. Just keep making up more terms and insisting the candidate needs to make another speech to use the term you just made up.

My standard would be: plausibly explain.

PersonFromPorlock wrote:

...it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Obama's been being hauled willy-nilly to church all these years by his wife and has been trying to keep peace at home by avoiding criticism of Wright.

That I could believe. However, given Obama's strong support among youthful voters, it might require a cranky old married conservative (like myself) to explain why that should get him off the hook.
4.29.2008 9:59pm
dre (mail):
Can his ears save him from running into the "Isle of Wright"?
4.29.2008 10:01pm
Gaius Marius:
If the liberals read McCain as uncharitably as some of you are reading Obama, things would get very ugly indeed.

Oh spare me, liberals have been reading McCain as uncharitably ever since McCain emerged as the GOP nominee.
4.29.2008 10:02pm
Gaius Marius:
Yes, Wright's personal and political views smell just like furnices burning with the corpese of Jews.

...only in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's wildest dreams.
4.29.2008 10:04pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
But, if Wright turns up the volume on his views... WAY up, then Obama has cover to denounce him without pesky questions as to why he kept hanging around for 20 years.

Verrrry slick.


I know that someone some weeks back suggested that Obama follow exactly this strategy. I think it was on National Review Online, but they've got so many Wright posts that I can't find it. Of course, the post was tongue-in-cheek, and it would be awfully strange if the Obama campaign were taking its cues from the joke posts at the National Review, but …
4.29.2008 10:07pm
dre (mail):

Yes, Wright's personal and political views smell just like furnices burning with the corpese of Jews.



He and "The Messiah" don't like 'typical "bitter" white people'.
4.29.2008 10:09pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Ken C.: this has been explained many times, but McCain is not the story now. The story that matters in this election season is the tightly contested Democrat primary--with two opponents who both have "star power". Unless you believe the news organizations have a duty to cover all the airplanes that didn't crash today, you will understand that McCain will get his turn in the barrel.
4.29.2008 10:10pm
Lonetown (mail):
"2. I think that part of Obama's approach to Wright is a conscious "Christian" effort to "hate the sin, love the sinner."

Or the appropriate poll tested response.
4.29.2008 10:17pm
SIG357:
Sig357, You're falling victim to the Volume Fallacy

And I thought I knew all the fallacies.

As far as McCain is concerned, the media can grill him, fillet him, and sautee him for all I care. Now, time for dinner.
4.29.2008 10:18pm
LM (mail):
Gaius Marius,

Oh spare me, liberals have been reading McCain as uncharitably ever since McCain emerged as the GOP nominee.

In fact, until we see even one liberal treat McCain like you treat Obama, they've got a lot of nerve even using words like "uncharitably" and "ugly," don't you think?
4.29.2008 10:19pm
Gaius Marius:
As far as McCain is concerned, the media can grill him, fillet him, and sautee him for all I care. Now, time for dinner.

The way this election year is going, I would not be surprised if it took another twist whereby McCain croaks before November leaving his VP nominee, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, as the GOP standard bearer on general election day.
4.29.2008 10:22pm
KenC:
"Unless you believe the news organizations have a duty to cover all the airplanes that didn't crash today, you will understand that McCain will get his turn in the barrel."

If we never heard anything about McCain, this would be an excellent explanation.
4.29.2008 10:25pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
The Audacity of Hope

Any one know where the title of Obama's book came from? Anyone? Beuhler?
4.29.2008 10:27pm
Fat Man (mail):
Took Obama 20 years to get worked up. The dude has a long fuse.
4.29.2008 10:32pm
Smokey:
Obama is simply adjusting his camouflage. That's what a chameleon does.
4.29.2008 10:33pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
I know that someone some weeks back suggested that Obama follow exactly this strategy. I think it was on National Review Online, but they've got so many Wright posts that I can't find it.




There it is!
4.29.2008 10:34pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
In an April of 2007 NYTs article Wright predicted Obama would have to disown him.

I smell something fishy here.

So lets check the body count so far:

Grandma
Wright

As I see it he still has Ayers and his wife Michelle to go.

Then there is Rezko, Mayor Daley, Governor Blagojevich, Auchi, I'm sure I left a few people out.
4.29.2008 10:37pm
Bill Woods (mail):
SMatthewStolte: I know that someone some weeks back suggested that Obama follow exactly this strategy. I think it was on National Review Online, but they've got so many Wright posts that I can't find it. Of course, the post was tongue-in-cheek,...

There's a bit of a gloat on, referring to a post back in March.
4.29.2008 10:38pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
KenC wrote:

"Unless you believe the news organizations have a duty to cover all the airplanes that didn't crash today, you will understand that McCain will get his turn in the barrel."

If we never heard anything about McCain, this would be an excellent explanation.

So...are you suggesting that most of the MSM are Republicans and/or McCain supporters? If so, what do you base that on?
4.29.2008 10:39pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
And how about all that Marxist stuff in his books.

I predict that his response will be:

1. Youthful indiscretions
2. I didn't write the books
4.29.2008 10:45pm
therut:
I'm going to cut through all the bull and state my objections without all the spin. Liberation theology is a bastarization of Christianity or is in old Catholic term a herasey. That is my objection. It is a herasy of a marxist dogama to Christianity. It makes a liar and fool of God. Jesus was not a politician. Left wing meshing of Church and State is evil as is Right wing. That is my objection. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows this and should RUN the other way. Simple and to the point. It has noe been brought into the light and it looks ugly to alot of people who never knew it existed. Knowledge is a good thing. The Democrats wanted to bring "religion" back into their domain. I knew this was going to happen and I for one am glad it did. It was not sugar coated like it has been by the MSM in the past using nice sounding workds like "social gospel". A true believer got up and let the whole world see it for what it has always been. It was about time.
4.29.2008 10:46pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Frank Marshall Davis?

My Grandma suggested him and she is already under the bus so he doesn't count.
4.29.2008 10:47pm
William Oliver (mail) (www):
"If the liberals read McCain as uncharitably as some of you are reading Obama, things would get very ugly indeed."

It really has nothing to do with this. The bottom line is that Obama has lost most orthodox Christians who don't vote their race. Every Christian who attends church simply knows that you can't sit in a pew and listen to a pastor for 20 years and know nothing about what the man believes. You certainly can't use him as a spritual advisor as well as pastor for 20 years and then claim you are ignorant of his basic beliefs.

That means that Obama is simply lying. Either he is lying now, and is throwing his spiritual advisor under the bus for political expediency, or he has been lying for 20 years and has been faking his communion with his spiritual community -- the definition of hypocrite -- for all that time.

This is not a matter of a few small disagreements around the edges of one's theology and world view. This is an issue of the core beliefs of Obama's spiritual advisor and of the congregation he embraced for two decades.

The answer may be a bit more nuanced -- that Obama was willing to tolerate the bitterness of Wrights racism and hatred for the sake of developing his own identity, or that he believed that the good of the work of his congregation negated the evil that leavened it. But his refusal to be open about it required that he continue in a lie -- and that's what he did.

And, unfortunately for Obama, his lies only convinced those he already has in the bag -- identity voters and those who don't care one way or the other. He has lost all those "bitter" people who cling to God and country because they know he is lying and know that his lies are an extension of the contempt he feels for them.
4.29.2008 11:02pm
rarango (mail):
too little too late--should Obama get the nomination then we will hear all of the rev's sermons played on attack ads. The best take on Obama is that is can't make a decision; the worst take? he stood by his racist minister for 20 years. Obama is indeed an empty suit without a moral compass other than some sense of entitlement for the presidency. In the meantime, Hillary is going in the lion's den on O'Reilly and is going to appeal directly to conservatives. Is this a great country, or what? The democrats richly deserve all their trials.
4.29.2008 11:08pm
JohnK (mail):
I think Obama joined the church because he was a half white guy from Hawaii trying to get street creed in the Chicago black community. Also, I think Obama is a typical liberal who doesn't see a problem with associated with the lunatic fringe like Wright and Ayers as long as it is the left fringe. It not that he agrees with everything Wright or Ayers says or do. It is just that he views them as eccentric members of the team worthy of associating with especially if doing so can get you some where. Obama has lived such an insular life, I doubt that he realized how much of a problem his association with Wright was going to cause him once he ran for President. The guy became the darling of the Democratic Party and the clear front runner without Wright being a problem.

Once Wright became a problem, Obama could have just said that Wright was a lunatic and that he only went to his church because of the social good that it did and that he just ignored the crazy things Wright was saying. He could have apologized for that and said that he should have said something and that doing good in the community does not excuse these kinds of statements. Obama didn't do that because he read his press clippings and got greedy. He thought he could turn lemons into lemonade and use Wright as an excuse to make a larger point about race. It almost worked. Obama's Philadelphia speech was universally praised by the media and seemed to limit the damage from the initial Wright disclosures. The problem was that the speech forever tied him to Wright. He didn't walk away or in any way apologize or express regret over being associated with Wright. That would have been okay if the good reverend would have gone off quietly into retirement and stayed out of sight. That was never going to happen and Obama should have known better. You don't get to be a millionaire pastor of a church by worrying about your parishioners' needs over yours or not liking publicity. Wright ate up the attention and started giving more speeches and saying the same crazy stuff. The media loves a story and a good quote, and Wright if nothing else is always both of those, started following him around and reporting everything he said. Now Obama is stuck. He can't believably renounce Wright after his Philadelphia speech. At the same time, Wright is basking in the attention and will keep in the public eye embarrassing Obama. It defies all credulity for Obama to know claim that Wright is different now than he has been for the last 20 years. That is actually an insult to Wright. Wright may be crazy and a hate monger but he is certainly not a phony. In denouncing Wright at this stage of the game, Obama comes across as an disloyal opportunist who is willing to throw his spiritual mentor and pastor for 20 years over the side as soon as the poll numbers tell him to do so. Worse yet, since no one but the most hard core Obamabots believe his denunciation, he stuck looking disloyal while also still being associated with Wright and his views. It is just an unmitigated disaster for Obama.
4.29.2008 11:12pm
Wayne Jarvis:
Obama's positions scare me. And I do think he is self-aggrandizing. (Who the hell writes their memoirs two years after graduating from law school?) Nevertheless, I think he is a decent, thoughtful person who is trying to navigate some difficult territory.

You have Rev. Wright on one side of him yammering AIDS conspiracies and asserting that Obama denounces those views because he is a politician and not because Rev. Wright's ideas are bat-shit crazy.

Then he has Rev. Sharpton on the other side, bizarrely twisting a call to nonviolence as a ploy to attract white voters.

For the first time in the campaign, I actually felt sorry for Obama. (I got over it). But seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?
4.29.2008 11:19pm
Gaius Marius:
I predict that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is going to release his new book titled, "My Struggle" with a dedication to Barack Hussein Mohamad Obama.
4.29.2008 11:20pm
JohnK (mail):
Wayne Jarvis,

If you lie with dogs, you get fleas.
4.29.2008 11:23pm
Tareeq (www):
Regarding "spiritual mentor," the term as applied to Wright was first used by Obama's hometown paper in January 2007, long before any of this stuff came to light. At least that's what Nexis tells me.

See here.

It's a fawning profile. And if Wright wasn't a spiritual mentor, well, according to Obama in his book and in the article, Wright's a moral compass and someone with whom to consult before deciding to run for president.

Perhaps moral mentor, or political mentor, would be better terms. But I don't think Obama would agree now.
4.29.2008 11:30pm
Gaius Marius:
"Always two there are, a master and an apprentice."
4.29.2008 11:56pm
comment reader:
How long will it take for EV or anyone associated with the VC to get rid of this G M character? I haven't seen any poster violate basically every tenet of the Comment Policy, and his "Obama = Hitler/Muslim" crap is making virtually every thread about the election impossible to read. Anyone else agree?
4.30.2008 12:16am
comment reader:
"I haven't seen any other poster violate basically every tenet of the Comment Policy and continue to post," I mean.
4.30.2008 12:18am
Dave D. (mail):
...Gaius Marius, no more, no less.
4.30.2008 12:39am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
He was supposed to be the chosen one!
4.30.2008 1:32am
Diane:
Again, it's all a distraction from the issues, isn't it?

Just imagine how much more of this dismal theater of the absurd we'd have to endure if this phony got into the White House. Next thing you know, Obama will tell us that he didn't know Michelle as well as he thought and has only recently realized that she's a snide elitist who tells other people to avoid the corporate hustle while she pulls down $350,000 a year. She's Theresa Kerry all over again.
4.30.2008 1:40am
Hoosier:
I don't think we're allowed to tell them Conspirators that they need to ban people. Shame on you, comment reader! No desert tonight.


(As I always feel I must mention when these things come up:
I will vote for McCain, so I'm not shilling for Obama.)

His statement today was as much as anyone could ask. He says that he didn't recognize the man who spoke in Detroit as his pastor of 20 years. He's lying? It took too long? I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I go to church when my wife makes me, and I have no idea what the homilies are about.

If something else arises, then we'll need to assess it. Otherwise, on to Indiana! (Yay for us!)
4.30.2008 1:42am
Hoosier:
SMatthew—So Wright is . . . Obi-wan?
4.30.2008 1:43am
Steve P. (mail):
I honestly can't get enough of Gaius Marius in every thread. I'm not joking, those comments add something spicy to these discussions.

In the future, could the author refer to Senator Obama's second middle name in all capitals? I'm sure many people would be interested to know about that. I certainly didn't.
4.30.2008 2:25am
Hoosier:
I'm with Steve P. I miss a lot of stuff that's not in BOLD, since I don't know I'm s'posed to be payin' attenshun.

From now on, can we please agree to refer tje Democratic nominee-presumtive as:

Barack FIDEL HUSSEIN MOHAMAD KHADAFFI ADOLF DJUGASHVILI KIM IL-SUNG ENRON MADONNA Obama, esq.

Thx!
4.30.2008 2:59am
MlR:
He could have gotten God anywhere, but he came to the church he did for a reason, which was not Jeremiah Wright's beliefs, but the size and importance of the congregation.

How do you know this?

As far as I know, there is no evidence that this is the case. His behavior and own words have always suggested otherwise.

It isn't at all shocking that someone politically active would come out of a U.S. college campus and gravitate toward a radical like Wright's.
4.30.2008 3:42am
MlR:
As I just remarked on another VC thread - but 'way down in the comments - it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Obama's been being hauled willy-nilly to church all these years by his wife and has been trying to keep peace at home by avoiding criticism of Wright.

Could conceivable be true at this point, but he joined the church years before he met his wife.
4.30.2008 3:45am
LM (mail):

Barack FIDEL HUSSEIN MOHAMAD KHADAFFI ADOLF DJUGASHVILI KIM IL-SUNG ENRON MADONNA Obama, esq.

... Onassis, Jr.
4.30.2008 6:32am
Broadsword (mail) (www):
Hugh Hewitt played the denunciations, denouncements, distancing statements, repudiations and repugnances. Barak was painful to listen to; his speaking ...uh...sort of...with many...in several cases...we saw many times...or rather heard him say... that what he'd said. It sounded, of course, nothing like his reading. I think he is all package and no content. When he actually has to speak without a script, he doesn't know what he's saying, trying to say, or believes.
4.30.2008 7:12am
zippypinhead:
on the other hand, Gaius Marius is worth keeping around just for astute political observations like the following (quoting Yoda): "Always two there are, a master and an apprentice."

Speaking of the other Sith Lord hanging around the fringes of the election and fouling up his apprentice's campaign, as I reread Obama's denunciation comments a few times, it struck me that if you change the inflection to Arkansas/Yale, add some finger-wagging and purple faced rage, the same tirade could easily have been delivered by Bill Clinton. Same speechwriter? Is this another indication that Dick Morris's ship-jumping isn't limited to writing op-eds? Enquiring Minds [really don't] Want To Know...
4.30.2008 9:06am
Clyde:
As someone who has attended church for at least 20 consecutive years, I am not persuaded by the "20 years in the pew" argument. I can't be the only one who routinely zones out during the sermon, such that I would have difficulty recalling a sermon I heard earlier in the day, let alone years ago. Admittedly, my churchgoing is a product of intense family pressure, but some in this thread have theorized that the same may be true for Obama.
4.30.2008 9:45am
Ken Arromdee:
And thus the game continues, with the usual suspects insisting that "vigorously denounce" is insufficient and that yet another speech using the presumably stronger term "explicitly disown" is now required.

As someone else said, the right demand is "plausibly explain".

Obama needs to explain having the guy as his spiritual advisor for 20 years. So far, his explanation is "I had no idea what he was saying, and he didn't say it all the time anyway", and that's not believable. He needs something believable.

Whether his denunciation of Wright is mild or severe is beside the point. Of course he's going to denounce Wright now; he has to. It's his past connection with Wright that he needs to explain away, and he hasn't.
4.30.2008 10:00am
Ken Arromdee:
Also, I think Obama is a typical liberal who doesn't see a problem with associated with the lunatic fringe like Wright and Ayers as long as it is the left fringe. It not that he agrees with everything Wright or Ayers says or do. It is just that he views them as eccentric members of the team worthy of associating with especially if doing so can get you some where.

This is something I brought up before. For a politican to consort with extremists may not mean that he holds every position the extremists do. Obama probably doesn't think AIDS is a white conspiracy. But it does mean he's already gone some distance in the direction of the extremists, making them seem not so extreme. Associating with Wright and Ayers tells us something about Obama even if he doesn't approve of everything they say.
4.30.2008 10:05am
William Oliver (mail) (www):
"As someone who has attended church for at least 20 consecutive years, I am not persuaded by the "20 years in the pew" argument. I can't be the only one who routinely zones out during the sermon, such that I would have difficulty recalling a sermon I heard earlier in the day, let alone years ago."

If you sat in the pews for 20 years and ended up being completely clueless about what the pastor believes, what the church stood for, and what was written in the church literature, you did a lot more than just zone out a few sermons. Frankly, I don't believe that you are that clueless about what your church and your pastor believe. If so, then you might take a look at what you are supporting.

Further, as you note, you do not consider yourself an active part of the church, but forced to fake it because of family pressure. That is not the case with Obama, who chose that church, attended because *he* felt it was a worthwhile experience, and who, rather than "zoning out" everything the pastor said for 20 years, viewed his pastor as his spiritual mentor.
4.30.2008 10:10am
Gaius Marius:
I honestly can't get enough of Gaius Marius in every thread. I'm not joking, those comments add something spicy to these discussions.

In the future, could the author refer to Senator Obama's second middle name in all capitals? I'm sure many people would be interested to know about that. I certainly didn't.


Okay, Steve, just for you -- here is the explanation as to why I refer to Senator Obama as Barack Hussein MOHAMAD Obama. About 10 days ago, an e-mail from Christian missionaries who live in Kenya was forwarded to me. (I won't say which denomination given the political turmoil in Kenya.) These particular missionaries happen to be familiar with Senator Obama's paternal relatives in Kenya. According to these particular paternal relatives in Kenya, Senator Obama's full name is BARACK HUSSEIN MOHAMAD OBAMA.

Subsequent to my receipt of the foregoing e-mail, I have taken to referencing Senator Obama as BARACK HUSSEIN MOHAMAD OBAMA. Whether one wants to assume that Obama is a closet Muslim simply by virtue of his middle names is not my concern. However, by his statements on the campaign trail, I believe that Barack Hussein Mohamad Obama as POTUS will endanger both the very existence of the United States and Israel and become the greatest ally to the agents of terror throughout the Middle East.
4.30.2008 10:33am
KenC:
So...are you suggesting that most of the MSM are Republicans and/or McCain supporters? If so, what do you base that on?


If you mean, how they think of themselves in their heart of hearts, or what they *claim* to be, certainly not: I mean, David Broder thinks he's a "centrist", just like Fox News is "fair and balanced". If you mean, how they actually *behave*: yes, of course, they relay and reinforce Republican attack narratives, like this whole silly "controversy", quite well. You think a self-confessed war criminal could stay in office without them? You think a guy that dumped his first wife, who was disabled in an accident, to marry the rich heiress he was banging, and who now flies around with lobbyists on her company jet, would be a viable presidential candidate without them?
4.30.2008 11:14am
wuzzagrunt (mail):
You think a self-confessed war criminal could stay in office without them?

If the voters of Massachussets keep returning John Kerry to office, I don't think there's anything Britt Hume can do about it.
4.30.2008 11:39am
Seriously?:

According to these particular paternal relatives in Kenya, Senator Obama's full name is BARACK HUSSEIN MOHAMAD OBAMA.


Gaius Marius, I have a business proposition for you. About 10 days ago, I received an email from the Minister of Finance of Nigeria regarding large amounts of unallocated funds available in the government treasury. Apparently he has a plan to transfer $100 million out of the country, and if I can assist him he'll give me 20%. I don't quite have the full $200,000 necessary to pay the various transfer fees and bribes. Perhaps you could help me make up the difference for a $10 million cut. Just send your bank's routing information to surelyyougetthepoint@dontbelieveeverythingyouread.org. Thanks!
4.30.2008 11:55am
c.gray (mail):

And I do think [Obama] is self-aggrandizing. (Who the hell writes their memoirs two years after graduating from law school?)


The first black editor of the Harvard Law Review maybe? That fact alone made him interesting to some people, and got him a lot of press. And he clearly has other unusual biographical details as well. He spent 5 years between college graduation and Law School matriculation. He was actually 32 when he published the first memoir, which is not really all that early for someone with literary pretensions. The book sold fairly well as these things go, even before he became really famous during his senate run.

Seriously though, complaining that a presidential candidate is self-aggrandizing is like complaining that water is wet or fire is hot.
4.30.2008 1:37pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
SMatthew—So Wright is . . . Obi-wan?


Funny thing about that, I remember reading an ad for Star Wars II where it described Obi-wan Kenobi as "hav[ing] the politics of John McCain."
4.30.2008 2:38pm
KenC:
"You think a self-confessed war criminal could stay in office without them?"

"If the voters of Massachussets keep returning John Kerry to office, I don't think there's anything Britt Hume can do about it."

Ouch, you really got me there. Other than that Bush committed his crimes in office; ordered others to do his dirty work; is utterly unrepentant; covered up his crimes as long as possible; and, made scapegoats of many grunts when necessary, you're absolutely right: Bush and Kerry, both war criminals. It's like when a Democrat jaywalks, and a Republican rapes and guts his own child: both are criminals, and who can begrudge the media their intense focus on traffic violations?
4.30.2008 7:16pm
wooga:
KenC,
I'm curious how many known 'non-military' killers or accused rapists are in Congress, and which belong to which party. Near as I can tell, the known and suspected killers and/or rapists are all in the Democratic party. But as far as simple perverts go, they are roughly evenly split, with the Republicans getting disproportionate over coverage because of the 'hypocrite' angle.
4.30.2008 7:52pm