Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Who is Barack Obama?

Barack Obama made a stab at explaining his 20 year relationship with a pastor who has had occasion to spout strong anti-American views. Here is a composite of interesting observations made in recent days:

From The Patriot:

“We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” —C.S. Lewis

“Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one less scoundrel in the world.” —Thomas Carlyle

“The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.” —Benjamin Disraeli

“Freedom has a thousand charms to show, That slaves, howe’er contented, never know.” —William Cowper

“I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.” —William F. Buckley

“[Barack] Obama says Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright is no longer among his campaign’s ‘spiritual advisers.’ Obama should not be asked which of Rev. Wright’s outrageous statements he disagrees with, but rather which ones he does agree with. That Obama remains a member in good standing of Trinity United Church of Christ indicates that he prefers the company of many people who have demonstrated that they believe what their pastor has said.” —Cal Thomas “We don’t need a President of the United States who got to the White House by talking one way, voting a very different way in the Senate, and who for 20 years followed a man whose words and deeds contradict [Barack] Obama’s carefully crafted election year image.” —Thomas Sowell

“All you really need to know about Barack Hussein Obama is this: Louis Farrakhan really, really, really wants him to be president.” —Don Feder

And this from the WSJ:

So yesterday Mr. Obama sought to rehabilitate his image by distancing himself from Mr. Wright's race-paranoia. He talked about his own multiracial background -- son of a white mother and Kenyan father -- and said, "I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible."

Mr. Wright's remarks "expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country," Mr. Obama continued, and are "not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity" -- his way of broadening out the discussion to include his political message.

Less uplifting was his attempt to pair Mr. Wright's extremism with Geraldine Ferraro's recent remarks as "the other end" of the spectrum on race. Mr. Wright's sermons are rooted in a racial separatism and black liberation theology that is a distinct minority even among African-Americans. Ms. Ferraro was, at worst, saying that Mr. Obama is helped because many Americans want to vote for someone who is black.

It is also notable that Mr. Obama situated Mr. Wright within what the Senator sees as the continuing black-white conflict and the worst excesses of racial injustice like Jim Crow. He dwelled on a lack of funding for inner-city schools and a general "lack of economic opportunity." But Mr. Obama neglected the massive failures of the government programs that were supposed to address these problems, as well as the culture of dependency they ingrained. A genuine message of racial healing would also have given more credit to the real racial gains in American society over the last 40 years.

The Senator noted that the anger of his pastor "is real; it is powerful," and in fact it is mirrored in "white resentments." He then laid down a litany of American woe: "the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man who has been laid off," the "shuttered mill," those "without health care," the soldiers who have fought in "a war that never should have been authorized and never should've been waged," etc. Thus Mr. Obama's message is we "need unity" because all Americans are victims, racial and otherwise; he even mentioned working for change by "binding our particular grievances."

And the cause of all this human misery? Why, "a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many." Mr. Obama's villains, in other words, are the standard-issue populist straw men of Wall Street and the GOP, and his candidacy is a vessel for liberal policy orthodoxy -- raise taxes, "invest" more in social programs, restrict trade, retreat from Iraq.

Needless to say, this is not an agenda rooted in bipartisanship or even one that has captured a national Presidential majority in more than 40 years. It would be unfortunate if Mr. Obama's candidacy were toppled by racial neuroses, and his speech yesterday may have prevented that. But it also revealed the extent to which his ideas are neither new nor transcendent.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]