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Are we again getting two for one? (update)
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Christopher Hitchens asks about the unanswered questions still hanging out there about the Obama/Wright relationship:
What can it be that has kept Obama in Wright's pews, and at Wright's mercy, for so long and at such a heavy cost to his aspirations? Even if he pulls off a mathematical nomination victory, he has completely lost the first, fine, careless rapture of a post-racial and post-resentment political movement and mired us again in all the old rubbish that predates Dr. King. What a sad thing to behold. And how come? I think we can exclude any covert sympathy on Obama's part for Wright's views or style—he has proved time and again that he is not like that, and even his own little nods to "Minister" Farrakhan can probably be excused as a silly form of Chicago South Side political etiquette. All right, then, how is it that the loathsome Wright married him, baptized his children, and received donations from him? Could it possibly have anything, I wonder, to do with Mrs. Obama?
Hitchens says he doesn't think or see any indication that Obama actually buys into the Wright poison. So what, or who, kept him in that church for those two decades? Who had the influence to do that if it wasn't Wright.

Hitchens says the answer is fairly clear when you dig into it a bit. And it certainly isn't an answer Obama, and for the most part, reporters, are going to want to explore:
If there is a reason why the potential nominee has been keeping what he himself now admits to be very bad company—and if the rest of his character seems to make this improbable—then either he is hiding something and/or it is legitimate to ask him about his partner?
And why does Hitchens go in that direction? Remember that 1985 thesis Michelle Obama wrote while at Princeton entitled "Princeton-educated Blacks and the Black community?" Hitchens is of the opinion the answer to why Barack Obama stayed in Wright's church may be found there:
Anyway, at quite an early stage in the text, Michelle Obama announces that she's much influenced by the definition of black "separationism" offered by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton in their 1967 screed Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America.
That, of course, is the sort of black "separationism" which neatly fits in with the Rev. Wright's black liberation theology ala James Cone. And Michelle Obama's campaign rhetoric at certain times has belied a degree of bitterness about her country which many find hard to fathom, given her rather privileged upbringing and schooling.

So it seems rather logical and reasonable -given the evidence- to wonder whether perhaps the influencer here is Michelle Obama and that Wright is just the result of that influence.

Hitchens says:
I have the distinct feeling that the Obama campaign can't go on much longer without an answer to the question: "Are we getting two for one?" And don't be giving me any grief about asking this. Black Americans used to think that the Clinton twosome was their best friend, too. This time we should find out before it's too late to ask.
We'll see, won't we?

UPDATE: Powerline has a variation on the theme.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

While that was certainly an influence, I can’t see that it was foundational in nature. Rather, I suspect he married the woman because she reinforced those beliefs he already had.

And should we point out that Hitch thinks all religion poisonous at the off? I wonder if he’s not over-reading that connection, thereby.

Written By: Bithead
I don’t understand why any explanation is needed.

Obama posed as the trans-racial racial reconciliationist while attending, virtually his entire adult life, a church based in a theology that believes racial reconciliation consists of whites submitting to blackness and blacks.

He cannot run away from that.

I’m not offended as a white person; I’m offended as a person. I mean, I really don’t care if Michelle twisted his arm, or not. Plus, he brings his kids there.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Nor am I Martin, but it should perhaps be pointed out that there is one thing that the questions about his wife does for us; It provides confirmation about his beleiving in what Jeramiah Wright has been preaching.

Consider it this way; At what point has any of even the more outragious statements from Wright, run afoul of the apparent sensiblities and statements of Michelle Obama? NOwhere, far as I can see; they are of a kind.

Written By: Bithead
I heard Chris Mathews suggesting that it is often the woman of the house that makes most of the decisions about church and education.

Both my wife and I are not religious, so I’ll have to refer to others.
I’m likely to buy that suggestion. My good friend never went to church before in his life, then he married that woman and now he’s dragged there every Sunday.

Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
It’s not good news for Obama either way. If one is charitable enough to agree that Wright’s teachings are antithetical to Obama’s convictions, then one has to wonder how much spine Obama has, if he can’t stand up to his pastor or to his wife in opposing their bitterness towards America—the country Obama claims to love.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
It’s an interesting point, and it seems to make sense. Obama’s defenders point out that he doesn’t say things like Wright says.

This point makes it all dovetail nicely.
I don’t understand why any explanation is needed.
Well, it probably isn’t needed. It might be useful.

Myself, I think the convergance of Wright, Ayers, the commie blogger, and Mrs. Obama’s comments paints a very nasty picture. Obama to some degree stands in contrast to that, except that:

1) He’s had trouble making a clear clean break with Wright.

2) Some of his statements suggest sympathy or a defense of these nutcases. E.g. equivelence between Wright and grandma . . .

3) He married her.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Obama to some degree stands in contrast to that,
Well, yeah, by his words he to some degree stands in contrast to all that.

But by his actions he’s right dead center in the middle of it.

By his words he calls the description of him being a liberal just a strange Washington misperception.

By his voting record he’s the most liberal member of the Senate.

He’s going to unite the country, you see, so you can’t pay attention to his actions, because they’re exactly the opposite of his words.
3) He married her.
I’ve spent an entire lifetime being told by people here and there, in situations large and small, how wonderful this or that person is, despite the fact that they were, prima facie, slobs or liars or Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Michelle Obama’s story unfolds so fast that if you make popcorn in a microwave you’ll miss it: She’s nasty and she’s getting nastier by the minute (she kicks in about 2/3rds of the way down the first page of Byron York’s report).
Written By: Martin McPhillips
From Martin’s article:

Michelle Obama asks,
“You start working hard and sacrificing, and you think you’re getting closer to the bar, you’re working and you’re struggling, you get right to that bar, you’re reaching out for the bar, and then what happens?”
Surprisingly, her answer is not that you are given a promotion to a position with the same job description as your previous assignment for more than twice the pay, and your husband is a serious contender for the presidency. No. It is "they raise the bar". I am convinced that this woman will complain no matter what happens in her life. Despite every achievement, anything not achieved will be due to someone "raising the bar".
Written By: Is
URL: http://
I heard Chris Mathews suggesting that it is often the woman of the house that makes most of the decisions about church and education.
Heh, this was actually the first thing I thought when I read McQ’s post. I’m at best ambivalent regarding religion; however, my wife is not. I remember before we got married, she chose the church, she chose the reverend who would officiate the ceremony (kinda sounds like a sporting event), and she even convinced me to get baptized so we could have the ceremony there. I even went to church from time to time with her. Then, when we had our daughter, she made the decisions around the timing and type of baptism she would have. I did all of these things because they were important to her. It’s just my experience, but I don’t think it is all that uncommon.
However, I think that if the reverend was saying anything as outrageous as Rev. Wright, I would not have come back. There are plenty of churches where we lived and we could have joined another at any time. This may be an interesting reason as to why he spent some time at the church, but it definitely does not excuse a membership of 20 years.
Written By: Curt Mitchell
URL: http://
Will McCain get swift boated on his relationship with the wack ultra right pastors like Falwell and Hagee ?
Written By: John Ryan
URL: http://
Will McCain get swift boated on his relationship with the wack ultra right pastors like Falwell and Hagee ?
Are either McCain’s personal pastor for 20+ years?
Written By: McQ
Obama was raised by radical socialists. He became a "community organizer" committed to the methodology of radical communist organizer, Saul Alinsky. He was set up in politics in Chicago by Ayers and Dohrn and maintained a close working relationship with them since. He credits Wright for being his inspiration and his spiritual advisor.

He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate.

And Hitchens thinks he doesn’t believe any of this stuff because he doesn’t spew it on the campaign trail?!!! Wright nailed it when he said Obama is a lying politician.
Written By: stan
URL: http://
Her 1985 thesis proves it!. Wasn’t Hitchens still a trotskyite in 1985?
Written By: Retief
URL: http://

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