That was the style, anyway. But what about the substance? Yes, let's look at the substance of his wonderful speech.
He starts out, pretty accurately, looking at our Founding, and how slavery was one issue that was deferred for "at least twenty years". That much was true.
Unfortunately, he left out the genius of the Founding Fathers and how they minimalized the power of the slave states with the infamous "three-fifths rule", wherein blacks in the slave states, who were already forbidden to vote, would count as three-fifths of a vote when apportioning seats in the House of Representatives. No, the Founding Fathers didn't actually believe that blacks were less than whites. But the Southern states, the slave states, were left with fewer votes in the House, thereby hastening the eventual abolition of slavery in the newly minted United States.
Still, Obama was quite accurate when he described America as a nation that seeks "a more perfect union", that seeks always to improve itself. It's just his ideas of improvement and perfection that I find problematic.
After this brief, if not misleading, history, we are regaled with Obama's personal history. This is the sort of story that proves the lie of the Modern Civil Rights Industry, Inc. With all the strikes against him (bi-racial parents, single mother, raised by his grandparents, etc.) there should be no possibility of him reaching for the White House. That is, if we were to believe the various Professional Victims of the MCRI, Inc.
Yet, here is Obama. He's at, or very nearly so, the pinnacle of American politics. He's highly educated, he's rather wealthy, despite his sweetheart deals with Tony Rezco. His wife sits on some very powerful corporate boards, which she advises her listeners not to aspire to.
I still believe that Obama will win the election in November against John McCain, provided Hillary doesn't steal the nomination. But should he lose, it will not be racism. It will be the rejection of his Liberal agenda.
At this point in the speech, Saint Obama seems to make a few oblique references to the vile and hateful teachings of his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
...we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary
language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial
divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our
nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.
I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views?
Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors,
priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
Fine enough. But I don't recall any sermons from my church experience that accused America of inventing AIDS, or wantonly incinerating thousands, or purposely selling drugs to imprison minorities.
Obama goes on to cite the good that Rev. Wright has done:
The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me
to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one
another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his
country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest
universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a
church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth - by housing
the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and
scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from
Forgive me, but isn't this a little like saying Hitler wasn't all that bad? After all, look at the Volkswagen or the fact that the trains ran on time. Louis Farrakhan told his followers to get educated, take care of the children you father, and follow Islam. That didn't change the fact that he was a bigot, and anti-Semite, and un-American. What we have here is the minimization of Rev. Wright's horrible beliefs, with the over exaggeration of his virtues.
Obama, though, stays loyal to his pastor, but less so to his grandmother:
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
There goes grandma, right under the bus. Grandma, you see, was also a racist. Basically, she is racist because she said the same things about passing black men that Jesse Jackson so famously once said. What's worse, he took the private comments by an old woman (who, God help her, is alive to see her grandson publicly humiliate her) and equated them with, as James Taranto observed, was a "systematized black liberation theology." Simply put, the man is shameless.
Charliein wrote to Montag's World, that "...he can't disown his blood relative, but he never had to embrace his pastor by naming him to his campaign." Truer words have never been uttered.
Suddenly, Obama goes off the rails entirely, trying to "me-too" the debate:
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most
working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been
particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.
Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - 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. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.
Uhh... where to begin on this one? First, the Reagan Coalition was forged from more than affirmative action and Political Correctness, although they were a part. Let's not forget the near despair Americans viewed their nation after Nixon and Carter, after the idiocy of the welfare state, the crushing taxation and over-regulation that it entailed. Of course, were Saint Obama to actually mention any of those things, he would have to find some other way to sell his social utopian visions for America's future.
Which, he is quick to add, are just what we Americans need to overcome the "divisiveness" (he used this word a lot in this speech) of racial issues today.
So, in a nut shell:
- Rev. Wright's speech is a result of past racism in America, an expression of black bitterness.
- White antipathy to Liberal solutions (affirmative action, welfare, bussing, etc.) are the result of their misunderstanding of the real issues.
- Both blacks and whites need to cool their rhetoric while voting for Saint Obama who is going to bring "change" by supporting the same old policies that caused all that white angst.
- Grandma just has to understand the "bigger picture" and not be upset that her grandson just humiliated her on national television.
Yup! This is what Saint Obama is all about. This is the Audacity of Rope-a-Dope. Disavow vaguely "controversial" comments, tear grandma a new one, blame white America, change the subject.
And, of course, offer himself, messiah-like, as the solution.
Are you buying any of this?
Copyright March 19th, 2008