Barack Obama said what he had to say, and said it clearly. When provocative sound bites from your own pastor challenge your campaign, it is good to challenge the messages while loving the messenger, as Senator Obama did in Philadelphia. But when that pastor turns around and amplifies his provocative sound bites, and calls you a professional bullsh*tter for even challenging the messages, then you denounce. As today’s New York Times editorial points out::
It was the most forthright repudiation of an out-of-control supporter that we can remember. We would like to say that it will finally take the racial charge out of this campaign. We’re not that naïve.
It is an injustice, a legacy of the racist threads of this nation’s history, but prominent African-Americans are regularly called upon to explain or repudiate what other black Americans have to say, while white public figures are rarely, if ever, handed that burden.
Senator John McCain has continued to embrace a prominent white supporter, Pastor John Hagee, whose bigotry matches that of Mr. Wright. Mr. McCain has not tried hard enough to stop a race-baiting commercial — complete with video of Mr. Wright — that is being run against Mr. Obama in North Carolina.
Sad, if but true. Relevant to bring it up at all? Yep. As if to prove the point, one commenter on the editorial , Richard Troy of Santa Monica, Ca. chimed in almost immediately (comment #4):
Unfortunately, Sen Obama has still not explained to the American people why he remained in this church as a parishoner for almost twenty years. It simply stretches one’s credulity to believe that Obama was not aware of any of these offensive comments until a very short time ago. Was he and his family asleep in church or did they never interact with others in the congregation over all those years regarding what the Pastor may have said from the pulpit.
Having failed to do that, I can’t see why my vote should entrust him with the Presidency of the most powerful position on the planet.
Well, Mr. Troy has quite a standard of transparency, doesn’t he? It’s a wonder he would vote for anyone! That is, unless the Times has a point.
Consider the other two candidates for president:
John McCain has remained in bed* with lobbyists for many years, including senior campaign staff who lobbied against American business and workers. To parrot Troy’s chant, “It simply stretches one’s credulity to believe that McCain was not aware of any of these offensive” behaviors by his closest advisors.
And Hillary Clinton may or may not have close associations with organized efforts to (possibly?!?) suppress African American votes. I’m not saying she does or doesn’t, although there are interesting people associated both with Hillary Clinton and Women’s Voices Women Vote, such as John Podesta. Does it not also simply stretch one’s credulity to believe that Clinton was not aware of any of these offensive tactics?
Well, nope and nah.
That’s New York Times’ point. Oh, and at least Barack Obama belongs to a church.