Rev. Jeremiah Wright. If the name doesn't sound familiar, then do an internet search and pay close attention to what you find. The name will certainly become more familiar in the media, especially if Barack Obama wins the Democrat nomination and we get closer to the general election.
Rev. Wright is Barack Obama's pastor and spiritual mentor. He presided over Obama's wedding. He baptized Obama's children. Obama has been a member of his church for nearly 20 years. And he has a history of saying some vile things about America. Some of these things include statements that America is no better than Al Qaeda, that the US government has facilitated the spread of AIDS to kill minorities, that America has "raped" every corner of the globe, and one of his sermons includes the phrase "God damn America" multiple times. Supporters will defend the remarks and say they are taken out of context. I personally find it hard to take a claim that the US is deliberately killing blacks with AIDS out of context. But that's what they say.
In Obama's defense, he states that he was only recently made aware of Wright's remarks and that he adamantly disagrees with them. He stands by Wright as a friend and spiritual mentor, but he denounces the man's anti-US rhetoric. Fair enough.
Pundits say this is going to hurt him badly. Tonight, O'Reilly cited a recent poll showing a 5% drop in Obama's favorability rating since the story broke. And now for my observations:
First, Hillary Clinton is noticeably silent on the issue. She hasn't responded and she doesn't have to. The story speaks for itself. The less she says the better for her. John McCain has made a statement that everyone has friends with whom they don't always agree. He has decided not to get muddy. The GOP in general has also remained silent. Rest assured, that won't last as we get closer to the general election.
I don't think this will hurt Obama in the remainder of the primary race. Granted, many Latinos will reject Wright's rhetoric, and many Jews will not be comfortable with the man's close association with Louis Farrakhan, but Obama's support among those groups wasn't very high to begin with. The fact is, many on the Left and in the Democrat party actually agree with Wright's remarks. There is strong anti-US sentiment on the Left, so I don't see Obama losing that much support among the Left. However, if this story resurfaces during the general election, it WILL hurt Obama. Mainstream Americans will reject this mess and rightfully so.
There is something that bugs me about this. Obama has been a member of this church for 20 years and yet claims he knew nothing about Wright's opinions. I find that impossible to believe. If even my most casual of acquaintances held Wright's beliefs I would pick up on it. And this man has been Obama's pastor and spiritual mentor for the past 20 years who has repeatedly spewed his hatred from the pulpit. These aren't isolated comments. There is no way Obama wasn't aware of Wright's beliefs and rhetoric. For the first time in this campaign, I believe Obama is lying. And I've been more than fair towards him despite my disagreement with his politics, so my sentiments shouldn't be discarded as partisan. At the very least his judgment is in question if he is willing to closely associate, as a US Senator and presidential candidate, with someone who has such vile hatred of America. Is this the judgment of a US President?
But there's more. There was the story of Obama not wearing the US flag on his lapel. Then the story of him not properly covering his heart during the national anthem. Then the story of his wife's comments about being proud of her country. Independently these things may not be a big deal and I would generally dismiss them as isolated and anecdotal. But with the Wright issue, I'm beginning to wonder if there is a pattern here. Obama is adored by socialists and neo-Marxists, and the mainstream media (the center of American Marxism) has buried the Wright story. Is this a pattern? I can't help but wonder how Obama truly feels about America, despite having read one of his books. It certainly warrants discussion.
Obama is in a tough spot. The more he distances himself from Wright, the more he looks afraid of his pastor and friend for 20 years. There really isn't anything he can do to help the situation and is left basically hoping it goes away. I still think he wins the nomination without a problem, which may be a problem for Democrats because they know the GOP won't let this story die. Even if McCain won't do it, you better believe the GOP party will be airing Wright's comments all over the place. The Democrats are having a tough time shaking their reputation as being "anti-American" and this doesn't help. I'm sure there are many in the party wondering if they bet on the wrong horse. Putting this guy up against a bona fide war hero and former POW is going to be an electoral disaster for Democrats. That's fine with me. Minimizing socialism in American government is always a good thing. As for Obama, I'd like to know how he truly feels about America, because now I'm wondering just how truthful the man has been during his campaign.