The Wright problem didn't get any better for Obama today when he came back from vacation with a new and even less plausible spin:
"This is somebody that was preaching three sermons at least a week for 30 years and it got boiled down ... into a half-minute sound clip and just played it over and over and over again, partly because it spoke to some of the racial divisions we have in this country."
Oh, come off it. This is somebody who visited Gadaffi in 1984 and gave Louis Farrakhan his "Lifetime Achievement" award in 2007. This is somebody whose first sermon Obama ever heard, according to his own memoir, included the line, "where white folks' greed runs a world in need." This is somebody who boasted of his church's "black liberation theology" and its similarities to the ideology of 1970s Nicaraguan Marxists.
By the way, how come Hillary gets roasted alive for embellishing an old [non]war story, while Obama's flat-out lie of a couple of weeks ago in response to the toughest question of his campaign -- his lie that he wasn't in church for controversial comments by Wright -- is forgotten, dead and buried under his 5,000 words of thoughtful nuance and nuanced thoughtfulness?
Here's some of the opening of my new column:
But by publishing revelations about one candidate, aren't we tacitly just helping the others?
For example, when Sen. Barack Obama, who has been running largely on his autobiography, makes campaign claims about his relationship with his pastor or his grandmother and I point out that his 1995 autobiography says something very different, I always receive messages denouncing me for being culpable for electing Hillary Clinton and/or John McCain. …
In this view, a presidential campaign is a zero-sum contest. Somebody has to win and everybody else has to lose. So any revelation about Candidate X is seen, not as contribution to the sum total of human knowledge, but as a dirty trick intended to elect Candidate Y or Z.
In contrast, I believe that the more that voters know about the candidates, the better. Of course, I would say that: as a nonfiction writer, that's my professional bias.
Still, I do believe the zero-sum model is simplistic….
For example, for over a year, I've been pointing out that Obama isn't the centrist post racial conciliator he plays on television. His campaign has been as disingenuous as if Ronald Reagan had run for President in 1980, not as a proud conservative, but as a bipartisan middle-of-the-roader.
In truth, Obama is a liberal somewhat to the left of the Democratic median, and with a recent radical background. And slowly, the MainStream Media [MSM] is starting to wake up to the phoniness of Obama's marketing of himself. This week, the New York Times [Obama’s Test: Can a Liberal Be a Unifier?, By Robin Toner, March 25, 2008] and Washington Post [In Obama's New Message, Some Foes See Old Liberalism, By Alec MacGillis, Washington Post, March 26, 2008]have finally gotten around to admitting in major stories that Obama is well to the left of where many imagine him to be.
This slow debunking of Obama might have crucial implications for his Vice Presidential selection. The more people who understand who Obama really is, the more pressure he will be under to pick as a ticket-balancing running mate an anti-Obama, such as Sen. James Webb (D-VA).
Moreover, within a President Obama, there would always be an ongoing struggle between his cautious head and his radical heart. The more a gullible press and public persist in imagining him the equally loving son of a happy biracial home, the more leftist actions his heart will be able to get away with. But the more we are alert to the two sides of this complicated man, the more likely his intelligent prudence would triumph over the passion to prove himself "black enough" that is the remnant of his psychologically-damaging childhood.
For example, the more he is seen, correctly, as a man who chose to devote much of his adult life to pursuing political power in order to take from whites and give to blacks, the more scrutiny a President Obama would receive over seemingly minor questions such as appointments to jobs at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the civil rights section of the Justice Department.
These obscure offices can be tremendously important.