March 25, 2008

The Hitch on Obama-Wright

In Slate, Christopher Hitchens brags of his prescience:

It's been more than a month since I began warning Sen. Barack Obama that he would become answerable for his revolting choice of a family priest. But never mind that; the astonishing thing is that it's at least 11 months since he himself has known precisely the same thing. "If Barack gets past the primary," said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the New York Times in April of last year, "he might have to publicly distance himself from me. I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen." Pause just for a moment, if only to admire the sheer calculating self-confidence of this. Sen. Obama has long known perfectly well, in other words, that he'd one day have to put some daylight between himself and a bigmouth Farrakhan fan. But he felt he needed his South Side Chicago "base" in the meantime. So he coldly decided to double-cross that bridge when he came to it. And now we are all supposed to marvel at the silky success of the maneuver.

You often hear it said, of some political or other opportunist, that he would sell his own grandmother if it would suit his interests. But you seldom, if ever, see this notorious transaction actually being performed, which is why I am slightly surprised that Obama got away with it so easily. (Yet why do I say I am surprised? He still gets away with absolutely everything.)

Looking for a moral equivalent to a professional demagogue who thinks that AIDS and drugs are the result of a conspiracy by the white man, Obama settled on an 85-year-old lady named Madelyn Dunham, who spent a good deal of her youth helping to raise him and who now lives alone and unwell in a condo in Honolulu. It would be interesting to know whether her charismatic grandson made her aware that he was about to touch her with his grace and make her famous in this way. By sheer good fortune, she, too, could be a part of it all and serve her turn in the great enhancement.

This flabbergasting process, made up of glibness and ruthlessness in equal proportions, rolls on unstoppably with a phalanx of reporters and men of the cloth as its accomplices. Look at the accepted choice of words for the ravings of Jeremiah Wright: controversial, incendiary, inflammatory. These are adjectives that might have been—and were—applied to many eloquent speakers of the early civil rights movement. (In the Washington Post, for Good Friday last, the liberal Catholic apologist E.J. Dionne lamely attempted to stretch this very comparison.) But is it "inflammatory" to say that AIDS and drugs are wrecking the black community because the white power structure wishes it? No. Nor is it "controversial." It is wicked and stupid and false to say such a thing. And it not unimportantly negates everything that Obama says he stands for by way of advocating dignity and responsibility over the sick cults of paranoia and victimhood. ...

And what a shame. I assume you all have your copies of The Audacity of Hope in paperback breviary form. If you turn to the chapter entitled "Faith," beginning on Page 195, and read as far as Page 208, I think that even if you don't concur with my reading, you may suspect that I am onto something. In these pages, Sen. Obama is telling us that he doesn't really have any profound religious belief, but that in his early Chicago days he felt he needed to acquire some spiritual "street cred." ...

To have accepted Obama's smooth apologetics is to have lowered one's own pre-existing standards for what might constitute a post-racial or a post-racist future. It is to have put that quite sober and realistic hope, meanwhile, into untrustworthy and unscrupulous hands. And it is to have done this, furthermore, in the service of blind faith. Mark my words: This disappointment is only the first of many that are still to come.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Sean Hannity tried to make an issue of Wright a year ago. So Steve you were not alone.

What made Rev. God Damn America an issue were the videos on YouTube. They could not be ignored and were sent around (links) via email.

What cheap video technology does is allow anyone with even moderate skills to replicate Lee Atwater in 1988. For little cost.

Anonymous said...

It's been more than a month since I began warning Sen. Barack Obama

So he's only about ten or eleven months behind you, Steve? Not bad for a liberal/neo-con.

Anonymous said...

Its heartening to know that Hitch has been reading your site all along.

Hey, maybe he is taking notes right now. Hi Chris!

Anonymous said...

so, hitchens is wrong except when he's wright.

Anonymous said...

Heard you on the radio today, Steve. Good job.

Anonymous said...

I heard you too, Steve. It's a pleasant surprise when you find an unexpected connection between two people you like.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest. Steve saw what was in front of his nose. So did Hannity. Steve saw it a little earlier, but so did other Bloggers.

What made this story Not Go Away was that YouTube and other sites could host the video where people could see the real deal for themselves.

That's the whole idea of Open Source Software btw. Many eyes, shallow bugs.

Dems are still in the 1988 mode, thinking they can afford no vetting of bad candidates.

Had Obama's unelectability been caught early, Dems could have gone to Plan B or C or even D. Biden, or possibly an early Draft Gore movement could have averted disaster.

Anonymous said...

good to know your on the same side as christopher hitchens, steve

Anonymous said...

"Mark my words: This disappointment is only the first of many that are still to come."

Well sed Mr. Hitchens!

Anonymous said...

"It's been more than a month since I began warning Sen. Barack Obama that he would become answerable for his revolting choice of a family priest."

I wonder what it is that upsets Hitchens more. That Obama has a revolting family pastor, or that he has a family pastor, period. As Hitchens considers all Christians to be simpering dupes, his opinions on this matter seem less than disinterested

How an unabashed commie, who still refers to his "comrades" became the darling of people who are ostensibly conservatives is beyond me. Oh, that's right, they are not. They didn't accept Hitchens because he changed, but because they did.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Hitch. Even when he's wrong, he's so elegantly wrong. And here, he happens to be right.

Obama has never answered the key question that the entire Wright fiasco raises: Does he share the deep, unshakable resentment of whites that motivates Wright's philosophy? Because, regardless of justification, it's unacceptable to have a President who bears a grudge against 70% of the population he governs.

Anonymous said...

If Hitch does anything in his column well it's the portrayal of Obama's sellout of his own grandmother. He frames it better than anyone else I've seen.

And now we are all supposed to marvel at the silky success of the maneuver.

But he didn't succeed. Perhaps in the eyes of the media he did, but in spite of all the alleged polls demonstrating that "55% of voters approved of his speech" (how so when perhaps barely 10% of them even saw the speech?) the fiasco has pummeled Obama's numbers. 28% of Clinton supportersote for McCain if Obama gets the nod. Only 19% of Obama supporters say the same for Clinton. Obama has the voters the Dems get anyway. Hillary has the voters (white women, blue collar whites) the Dems need to win. Obama now trails McCain by 15% in the swing state of Missouri, while Hillary trails only by 8.

Maybe Anderson Cooper can sit there and insinuate that it's racist to "keep" bringing up the Jeremiah Wright issue, but clearly the folks who actually vote don't agree.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked at the lack of critical thinking skills of many of you on this website. I understand Steve Sailer, since he has a racist, right-wing agenda to push, but has anyone else actually heard Jeremiah Wright's FULL sermons, and not just the soundbites? He was being critical of AMERICA'S FOREIGN POLICY, not white people.