Hate mongers collect injustices. If you and I did that, we could collect an endless laundry list about all the bad things somebody did to us. Maybe we have been hurt by men, or by women. Maybe we have been hurt by rich people, or by the angry poor. Maybe we have been hurt by Jews or blacks or whites, and we can put all our built-up rage on their heads. It's been done many times in the human past; that's exactly the psychology we see at work in Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, and various Muslim nations (among others), when explosive massacres take place. Mob psychology has been manipulated by demagogues throughout history. This is simply the another version of the Kluxers and Jim Crow lynch mobs. Today I see that psychology clearly enough on the Left, but outside of the ranting rooms of verifiable paranoids I don't see it many other places in this country.
Selectively collected injustices can keep us on the boil for a lifetime, because we ruminate on and on in all our waking hours about all the terrible things people have done to us. That is what the Left feeds itself in an endless stream; it is not a healthy thing to do. But it's what Jeremiah Wright has done to himself and to his congregation — and who knows to how many thousands of other people? — for almost all of his adult life. This is the Grand Inquisitor's view of America, the enraged prosecution case, without even imagining the possibility of innocence. This is what demagogues and witch hunters have always done, but I had never thought I'd see it in my lifetime.
Most of us take a more balanced view on our lives; we've had undeserved good fortune some of the time, and we've suffered undeserved pain at other times. That's life. If you look at the facts of Jeremiah Wright's life, he has been a child of good fortune — excellent schooling well into graduate school, privilege and money, the support of a community of believers, vast political clout in Chicago. But hate mongers don't think that way. They just collect more and more injustices as they go through life, and load it all onto some enemy. They are constantly reading the minds of the enemy — whites and especially Jews, in the case of Mr. Wright — and all they see there is malevolence. Evil is what evil sees.
For Jeremiah Wright, the enemy comes with a white skin. He has taken historical injustices and turned them into a lifelong call for vengeance. This is the official doctrine of Black Liberation Theology, and it is freely supported by powerful institutions on the religious Left. BLT's founder, Dr. Jim Cone, is a professor of systematic theology at the Union Theological Seminary. It's utterly bizarre but true.
Wretchard, at The Belmont Club, amplifies this point and unhappily concludes that the moment will most likely pass without the left recognizing it, or if it does, doing anything about it:
Maybe James Lewis is onto something when he argues that the "moment of truth for the Left has arrived" because the ideology espoused by Jeremiah Wright and his enthusiastic audience is more a product of the Left's idea mill than anything else. You'll find equivalent versions of the Wright ideology for Latinos, Indians, gays, lesbians and environmentalists. Wright is part of a product line. A small part.
And that's why Obama's associations with people like Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, in conjunction with Jeremiah Wright are more significant than they appear at first glance. They imply a loyalty to the parent brand, the Left, more than to its special product line for black people.
I doubt whether the Left will ever meet it's moment of truth. They exist in entirely parallel universes.
The highlighted paragraph is extremely important to understand. Wretchard points out why these associations mean something, why they are to be taken seriously and why they reflect on someone like Obama. Think back to Obama's declaration that he never thought his church was very controversial. The man, Jeremiah Wright, who the world is seeing in all his hateful and ego-driven glory was considered normal in the world of the left's Obamas. And associations with people who blew up buildings in the US and left 9 children without their fathers? Hey, they're just neighbors and friends. What's the big deal?
So it's not just Senator Obama who is stuck with Mr. Wright today. We are all stuck with a rageful Left, which really wants to destroy rather than to build. They mentally rehearse perceived injustices over and over again, and they blame this country for all the evil in the world, including AIDS in the black community. They never look at another side. Many have no honest conception of other countries, other cultures, or other points of view. They are not balanced people.
So the entire American body politic has a festering sore on its hands. This will not go away by itself. It will not be bought off by more money. It must be repudiated by the sensible Left, if it is still there. Just as William F. Buckley denounced the anti-Semites on the right, and sensible Americans rejected segregation and the Klan, just as American unions expelled Stalinist unions from the AFL-CIO, the time has come for the decent Left to draw a bright line in the sand, and keep the hate mongers out.
The thing that many voters are waiting for is the emergence of the "sensible left" and the repudiation of the things Lewis lists. To this point, that's not happened. And that is the concern many people have with Obama. What they've heard to this point, isn't going to cut the mustard, and this certainly doesn't satisfy those concerns:
"I have said before and I will repeat again that some of the comments that Reverend Wright has made offend me and I understand why they've offended the American people," Obama told reporters hastily gathered for an impromptu press conference on the tarmac in Wilmington, N.C.
"He does not speak for me. He does not speak for the campaign and so he may make statements in the future that don't reflect my values or concerns," Obama continued, later adding with a smile, "I think certainly what the last three days indicate is that we're not coordinating with him."
This is the typical wave-off Obama has tried since Wright broke on the scene.
Obama needs not just to distance himself from Wright's views; he needs to disown him at this point.
We need a speech or statement from Obama in which he utterly repudiates this poison, however personally difficult that may be, however damaging the impact will be. The statement today will not do it. This is no longer about cynics trying to associate one man's politics with another. It is now about Wright attempting to associate himself and some of his noxious, stupid, rancid views with the likely Democratic nominee. Wright has given Obama no choice - and he has also given him another opportunity. He needs to seize it.
Ain't gonna happen.
Obama thinks that denying only some of Wright's remarks after a 23 year association is adequate and will satisfy those who find it difficult to understand how one maintains such a long standing association without sharing at least some of the beliefs. And that's a question, in my opinion, that will never be answered, because, as pointed out, Obama never really considered a church founded in the racist doctrine of black liberation theology to be "controversial". If you can't see or understand the problem, it is pretty hard to repudiate what others find to be unacceptable.
That is why Wretchard says, "I doubt whether the Left will ever meet it's moment of truth. They exist in entirely parallel universes," he hits the proverbial nail on the head.
And that’s why Obama’s associations with people like Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, in conjunction with Jeremiah Wright are more significant than they appear at first glance. They imply a loyalty to the parent brand, the Left, more than to its special product line for black people.
I had difficulty grasping just why it was that feminists supported Bill Clinton over Paula Jones. And then the various gay organizations that were more anti-war/Bush?etc than they were against governments that believed in stoning homosexuals. The struggle to highlight women’s struggles in the Islamist’s world is not supported with vigor by the feminists groups. This perhaps explains the viscous attacks on those that leave these groups such as Bawyer,Tammy Bruce or any number of Black persons, including Justice Thomas.
Its not going to happen because many on the left are like the Ben Linus character from Lost who makes lists of what he determines to be good people and enemies and then proudly proclaims, "We’re the good guys!!".
So long as they think they are the only good guys and that everyone else is evil there is no point in discussion.
That is why Wretchard says, "I doubt whether the Left will ever meet it’s moment of truth. They exist in entirely parallel universes," he hits the proverbial nail on the head.
In the previous Wright thread, we saw Q and O resident lawyer Mr. Ultra parsing the word "racist" in order to let Wright off the hook. It reminds me of the way he justified Mike Nifong’s tactics during the Duke rape case, and, as Tom Scott notes, the way the Left shelved the emegerging aggressive legal theories about sexual harassment in order to protect Bill Clinton during the 1990’s.
I have watched during my adult lifetime as the left dropped any sense of shame in their more outrageous positions.
They felt no sense of shame at an educational system, which they created, that became a monumental failure and was responsible for miring millions of inner city children in poverty and crime. They still don’t; any calls for reform are met with howls of "destroying public education".
They felt no sense of shame at their behavior concerning Vietnam. In fact they glory in their role. Millions of innocent people killed in the aftermath, but the left refuses to even acknowledge that they had a role in those events, much less express remorse or shame.
As the media drifted left, these things were never challenged in public. Then it became lesser things. The left felt no shame at backing a serial molester and possible rapist. Any other man who is merely accused of rape is presumed by the feminists to be guilty, as we saw at Duke. Yet Bill Clinton, because he was on their side, was given a complete pass for any behavior he chose to exhibit. Sexual harassment by a superior? That’s only for corporate executives.
Now they feel no shame that their marquee candidate associates with a racist bigot, and that his wife has expressed hatred for her country. They feel no shame that he claims to represent a new kind of politics while associated with gangsters and terrorists. No shame.
The left is beyond shame. They are purely into power now. The younger ones buy into a utopian vision of the left that magically redistributes wealth to those who need it without ill effects, creating an idyllic world. As they age, that morphs into bitterness at their lack of power to carry out their utopian wishes. Inevitably, they fail, and it’s always someone else’s fault because their intentions are good. It can’t possibly be that the very nature of reality makes their utopia impossible. No, it must be the wicked and privileged fighting to preserve their power that always causes utopia to fail.
They never re-examine their base assumptions. Communism just wasn’t done right; there’s nothing basically wrong with it. They still wear their Che t-shirts. Stalin and Mao were perhaps overzealous; surely we should not compare them to Hitler no matter how many millions more they killed. Castro furnishes free healthcare and high literacy, at least according to his flacks. So subjugating an entire island to brutal tyranny is OK. Chavaz is a man of the people, and standing up to those wicked corporations.
They look at government-run health care in Britain and Canada, and overlook the monumental inadequacies, the lack of innovation, the rationing, the shortages. They look at the parts of our own system that are already run by government, such as the VA and Medicare, and can’t see that those are the parts of our system that function the worst. They merely feel in their bones that healthcare should be universal, so let’s just pass a law and make it universal. And if they get their way, when the system inevitably decays into rationing and chaos, they’ll feel no sense of shame. It will be the fault of those greedy doctors who sabotaged the system, and those lazy clinicians who declined to work eighty hour weeks forever at restricted wages to make their utopian vision come true.
If you challenge them, they’ll redefine terms or even morals. If they or their allies exhibit racism, they’ll redefine racism. If they or their allies practice terrorism, they’ll find excuses why terrorism is an acceptable response, and screw the innocent bystanders. If they or their allies exhibit sexist behavior, all of a sudden it’s not so bad. If they or their allies lie in a court of law, well, it’s just about sex, so what’s so bad about perjury? Certainly not something to be ashamed of.
If they or their allies slash tires of their political opposition to depress turnout, or register non-existent voters, well that’s just sloppiness from over-zealousness. There’s no shame in that.
You can’t debate such people. Our most prolific leftist commenter exhibits complete lack of shame almost every time he posts. If you catch him in a contradiction, he’ll just deny it. He’ll accuse you of being intellectually dishonest when he is exhibiting intellectual dishonesty on a staggering scale. He’ll defend liars and traitors with no sense of shame. He’ll talk about engaging him as an equal when he is exhibiting staggering condescension and arrogance.
I’d like to believe that it’s possible for the "reasonable left" to exist. But given the inherent contradictions of current leftist philosophy and their general detachment from reality, I don’t see what such a segment of the left would be based on.
I’ve commented on this before. I have severe disagreements with conservatives, but I can at least find room for argument because we are both children of the Enlightenment. Today’s left springs from post-modernism, and contains the internal contradictions of that philosophy as an integral component. You can’t even argue with the left in a way they will accept unless you already accept the preposterous assertions of post-modernism.
The democrats have lost their way and it is a shame. When I moved to New York, one of my Senators was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Although we disagreed on nearly every substantive issue, I had great respect for the man and not just because he was personable and clever. I felt that when the chips were down, he would act in the best interests of the U.S., not his political party. The last of these Senate democrats was Joe Lieberman.
The democrat party has sold its soul for money. Obama’s allure is not his youth or intelligence or his meaningless demagoguery. He has raised money by the tens of millions. Democrat party is a wholly owned subsidiary of their fund raisers. I guess it is appropriate that their contenders are a socialist radical feminist and a Marxist, black supremacist.
Although Barack is still clinging to the lead, he has dug himself a pretty deep hole. Much of it did not happen by accident. I smell the Clintons. Hillary has been too smug since before the Pennsylvania Primary. My only question is how much more do they have on Barack? Word is that he may be indicted in the Rezko investigation.
In the end, Hillary will win with the super delegates because of his looming problems. Blacks may finally realize that they are again being used and will sit this one out. Independents will break for McCain. John will win big.
So it’s not just Senator Obama who is stuck with Mr. Wright today. We are all stuck with a rageful Left, which really wants to destroy rather than to build. They mentally rehearse perceived injustices over and over again, and they blame this country for all the evil in the world, including AIDS in the black community. They never look at another side. Many have no honest conception of other countries, other cultures, or other points of view. They are not balanced people.
"We have allowed rampant secularism and occult, et cetera, to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 to 40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered in our society. We have a Court that has essentially stuck its finger in God’s eye and said, ’We’re going to legislate you out of the schools, we’re going to take your Commandments from off the courthouse steps in various states, we’re not going to let little children read the Commandments of God, we’re not going to let the Bible be read — no prayer in our schools.’ We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. And, then we say ’why does this happen?’ Well, why its happening is that God Almighty is lifting His protection from us."
"AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say ’you helped this [9/11] happen.’"
"State universities are breeding grounds, quite literally, for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), homosexual behavior, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, and drug abuse."
"All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are — were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing."
Wright has given Obama no choice - and he has also given him another opportunity. He needs to seize it. —Andrew Sullivan
Ain’t gonna happen. —McQ
I don’t know if it will be enough for McQ or for voters, but Obama pushed back hard by previous standards:
Obama was forced to address the issue after an appearance by Wright on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, where he repeated earlier suggestions that the United States deserved some blame for the September 11 attacks and that the government had had a hand in spreading AIDS to blacks.
"I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw," Obama told reporters as he campaigned for the North Carolina vote against Clinton next Tuesday.
"The person that 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," Obama said. WaPo
Of course, I have trouble believing that Wright has changed at all or that this is the first time Obama has really noticied Wright’s extremism. It’s a step in the right direction but it already may be too late.
Also there are those saying this is a dark deal between Wright and the Clinton camp. We live in interesting times!
I don’t know if it will be enough for McQ or for voters, but Obama pushed back hard by previous standards.
I’m just not satisfied this is all "new" like Obama is trying to spin it. Remember the basis of the church, Cone’s black liberation theology, isn’t something Wright took up a few weeks ago.
So while I think what Obama is saying is certainly politically necessary (and expedient), it still doesn’t answer those basic questions about him and the church under Rev. Wright. And that’s what I think "ain’t gonna happen" because if he admits that he attended that church while being aware of the theology, he’s toast (and he knows it).
Victor David Hanson has called this consistently for months now.
(1) Wright and other wacko black racists will keep popping out of the woodwork to haunt Obama. (2) This is a huge setback for US race relations. (3) Americans won’t elect a hard left candidate, who promises pie-in-the-sky populism, with bizarre connections to black power and sixties radicalism, no matter how decent he seems and how charismatically he speaks.
Obama was history when he claimed ignorance on Wright. Only a certified boob could possibly believe that Barry serendipitously was absent when those "controvertial comments" were made. But there are plenty of certified boobs in the Dem party and media, apparently. Thing about dummies though, they don’t like finding out that they are dummies. The Dems have been had and Barry has had them only slightly more than the Clintons. Even these witless pukes of Code Pink are wising up, a bit. It’s gotta hurt! Oy!
I have trouble believing that Wright has changed at all or that this is the first time Obama has really noticied Wright’s extremism. It’s a step in the right direction but it already may be too late.
In ice hockey it’s called "backchecking."
In politics it’s called a rear-guard action against the facts. In this case, Obama is trying to airbrush his way out of "Group Portrait with Wright."
Once again, it’s still the "I only attended those Klan rallies, I never lit any of the crosses" defense.
Journalists reluctant to drill even a centimeter below the surface need go about that far to find James Cone. Then, what will Obama say, that he had no idea what "black theology" was? He didn’t realize that he was attending a racist church? For 20 years?
Martin — I take it that your concerns, like McQ’s, aren’t assuaged by the Senator from Hope-and-Change?
For a bit of tragicomic relief here’s a video Father Coughlin Before the 1936 Election. He started as a populist speaking out for "social justice." Later Coughlin went full-bore into Jewish conspiracies and rationalizations of Nazism and Fascism.
What the hell is going on in this country?
We’re human. We’ve always been vulnerable to fast-talking demagogues like Wright, or in Obama’s case, calm, slow-talking ones.
Isn’t it just a gift from the Gods that the Rev. Wright seemed to give Obama this great seconds chance to have that conversation on race.
What BS !!
Frankly, the whole thing felt fishy from the beginning. Making it worse was the effort to blame Clinton for setting up the Nation Press Club affair where Wright could oh so well re-self destruct. But, of course, it would be topped off by Obama’s attempt at a Sister Soulja Moment.
Only a politcal novice would ever believe that this was a coincidence. Even Karl Rove isn’t this obvious.
The whole thing is just too easy that it stinks to high heaven.
And, of course, it still doesn’t explain why he sat in Trinity UCC for 20 years ?
I have read that Wright had a security detail provided by the Nation of Islam when he appeared at the National Press Club. What a wonderfully ecumenical occasion! Must be a tougher venue than I thought. Or maybe he thought Obama might have a little slip of the lip, a la Henry II ("Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?") and wants to be prepared.
That is why Wretchard says, "I doubt whether the Left will ever meet it’s moment of truth. They exist in entirely parallel universes," he hits the proverbial nail on the head.
I know. The left exists in its universe. Here is the right’s universe, McQ:
Candidate speaks at Hitler birthday party By Times Staff and wire reports | Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A congressional candidate is defending his speech to a group celebrating the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth, saying he appeared simply because he was asked.
Tony Zirkle, who is seeking the Republican nomination in Indiana’s 2nd District, stood in front of a painting of Hitler, next to people wearing swastika armbands and with a swastika flag in the background for the speech to the American National Socialist Workers Party in Chicago on Sunday.
"I’ll speak before any group that invites me," Zirkle said Monday. "I’ve spoken on an African-American radio station in Atlanta."
The 2nd Congressional District includes a large portion of north central Indiana spanning from South Bend to Kokomo. It includes Pine and Jackson Townships in Porter County and parts of Washington Township, which includes the eastern edges of the Valparaiso.
It is currently served by Democrat U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly.
Porter County Republican chairman Chuck Williams on Tuesday denounced Zirkle’s appearance at the gathering.
"He certainly doesn’t hold the view of the of the Republican Party," Williams said. "I don’t know why you would stand up in front of a picture of Adolf Hitler when millions of Americans fought against that kind of oppression."
Zirkle compared his speech to other politicians appearing at Bob Jones University.
George W. Bush, then a candidate for president, was criticized eight years ago for speaking at the South Carolina school, which teaches students that Catholicism is a cult. Also at the time of the speech, the school banned interracial dating, a policy that has since been dropped.
Zirkle said he did not know much about the neo-Nazi group and that his intention was to talk on his concern about "the targeting of young white women and for pornography and prostitution."
Zirkle will face John Frame and Joseph Roush, in addition to Puckett, in the May 6 primary.
The event was not the first time Zirkle has raised controversy on race issues. In March, Zirkle raised the idea of segregating races in separate states. Zirkle said Tuesday he’s not advocating segregation, but said desegregation has been a failure.
Zirkle received 30 percent of the vote in the 2006 primary, losing to incumbent Chris Chocola, who was defeated in the general election. Zirkle said Tuesday that winning the election is not his primary goal.
I’ve commented on this before. I have severe disagreements with conservatives, but I can at least find room for argument because we are both children of the Enlightenment
So I assume that you will be headed up to Indiana, Billy, to campaign for Mr. Zirkle? After all, he’s a conservative who got 30% of the vote in the primary. And Indiana is not the far away from Tennessee. Tell you what - I’ll pay for your gas.
Oh - and don’t forget your armband.
As for your rant, Billy., I’m going to assume that like the rest of those who post here, you thought that wasting 4000 American lives on Iraq to turn the country over to the Iranians was a good idea.
There was a time when one could sensibly and cnstructively argue with wingnuts - but then they got the idea that invading Iraq in order to turn it over to the Iranian lovers should be a cause that Americans should die for. They lost me after that.
Obama was against spilling American blood for the mullahs in Iran. You are apparently for it. Why do you love the Iranians, Billy? Is it the totaliniraism? Or is it the subjugation of women?
On second thought, mk, I just realized that since you are a good post-modern leftist, you probably don’t realize that they’re strawmen. Which confirms my last paragraph:
Today’s left springs from post-modernism, and contains the internal contradictions of that philosophy as an integral component. You can’t even argue with the left in a way they will accept unless you already accept the preposterous assertions of post-modernism.
Your attempt to divert the issues is understandable, though. Given all the things I laid at the feet of the left, I’d want to change the subject if I were in your position, too.