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Tuesday: Stone proverbs

In The desert, there is no sign that says, “Thou shalt not eat stones.” -Sufi proverb

RD’s layman interpretation: I never promised you a rose garden. We don’t always have a choice as to the circumstances under which we make our toughest decisions. Sometimes, we do what is necessary, not that which is ideal. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Dean: Dems Could Fail if Divided
As Clinton Seeks Gas Tax Break for Summer, Obama Says, “No”

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”- John 8:7

RD’s layman interpretation: If I had a penny for all of the stupid things I’ve written or said in the past, I’d be rich and no one here would call me a friend. Reverend Wright is wrong about a lot of things. His take on AIDS is just dumb (I can say this from a professional standpoint). But no one I know hasn’t said idiotic things from time to time. Pastors may have greater culpability because it is their jobs to get it right. But black preachers are no more culpable than white ones.

Jeremiah Wright Goes to War

Obama Addresses Ex-Pastors Media Blitz

“Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believed in me, it were better for him that millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

RD’s layman interpretation: People who destroy another’s character and undermine the faith of others, especially for political expediency, deserve severe punishment. This applies to the person who started it and the people who perpetuate the crime. One of the saddest outcomes of this whole Jeremiah Wright episode is the siege mentality of the African-American community. The resentment that has resulted from Obama campaign’s foolish playing of the race card in order to destroy the Clintons’ reputation and alienating them from African-American voters, combined with the media’s magnification of that error, will leave a legacy haunt us for decades to come. This will damage Obama’s career and truncate his political aspirations, a fitting millstone.

You’re a racist!

26 Responses

  1. I have some sympathy for Wright and especially for those who have admired him for a long time. Certainly think it’s terrible and inappropriate if Black Liberation Theology ends up being seen by the public as morally equivalent to the fundamentalism of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robinson. To me Wright seems like a poor representative for this point of view. I don’t even think he’s much of an orator.

    On the other hand, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Obama. He has really blown it bigtime. On MSNBC this morning Bob Herbert actually said that Obama looks weak. From Herbert’s NYT column today:

    Smiling, cracking corny jokes, mugging it up for the big-time news media — this reverend is never going away. He’s found himself a national platform, and he’s loving it.

    It’s a twofer. Feeling dissed by Senator Obama, Mr. Wright gets revenge on his former follower while bathed in a spotlight brighter than any he could ever have imagined. He’s living a narcissist’s dream. At long last, his 15 minutes have arrived.

    The sad thing is that Obama supporters are calling on him to do something strong and decisive about this situation, because he is looks weak. Herbert even said Obama has let himself be a “punching bag.” What these supporters don’t seem to understand is that Obama IS WEAK. They just don’t see it yet, but they are starting to wake up to the truth.

    Joe Scarborough today talked about how tough Hillary is and how Bill Clinton has been the only president in recent memory to be able to neuter the Republican attack machine. Obama just doesn’t have what it takes to do what the Clintons have done. I think he definitely has talent and potential, but he just not ready yet. I can’t understand why he did wait. I don’t know if he will come back from this.

  2. If it wasn’t for Wright’s habit of insulting people, he could have brought Wright into the campaign from the very beginning. It really could have been “a teaching moment.” but that habit of Wrights — mocking people — would have really clashed with the tone of Early Obama.

  3. Kbird: I don’t know Wright all that well. Presumably, he has done a lot of good in his ministry as well as saying some pretty stupid $%#. Let’s put the blame where it belongs- on the media and Republicans who have used Wright as a tool to split us. It doesn’t do Hillary any good for us to jump on the bandwagon.

  4. Would you rather I delete this morning’s post?

  5. Kbird: No, don’t delete it. People are angry and that’s understandable. But if you want to put in a “I don’t speak for everyone here” line at the top, it’s OK by me. Of course, I will leave it to your discretion. I trust you.

  6. Guys – or gals – I don’t see katiebird’s post as “jumping on the bandwagon.”

    1. It gave some defense of Wright (a rarity anywhere right now) by showing he is really not on Falwell’s level.

    2. It wisely brought back Obama’s playing the race card in the first place.

    3. However, you might want to edit out the “siege mentality” line. I’m not sure the entire African American community, or even significant portions of it, have spoken out on Reverend Wright. Though I suspect that some will not be happy about his claim that he speaks for the entire African American “church.” But even that is a reach on my part.

  7. Cdalygo, I don’t think I wrote what you think I did??

  8. I have more respect for Wright than I do for Obama. At least, that man has convictions and doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not while Obama is nothing more than a cowardly, ruthless opportunist who’ll do anything to win.

    I will never forgive him for the atrocious smear campaign he ran against both Bill and Hillary. To smear someone as a racist and purposely inflame racial tension for a mere power grab is no less heinous than Lee Atwater tactics. And he made the battle against actual racism a mockery (As an ethnic minority, I am rather sensitive to that).

    Adversity introduces us to ourselves–and to others. Unfortunately, I know now exactly how despicable Obama truly is. I never want to see him run as president again. A tiger can’t change his stripes.

  9. Dang it! Again, my comment awaits moderation.

  10. Oops. Perfect timing on my part.

    Oh, and I just had to share one “Hillary’s to blame!” story. From Errol Lewis of the Daily News:

    Shortly before he rose to deliver his rambling, angry, sarcastic remarks at the National Press Club Monday, Wright sat next to, and chatted with, Barbara Reynolds.

    A former editorial board member at USA Today, she runs something called Reynolds News Services and teaches ministry at the Howard University School of Divinity. (She is an ordained minister).

    It also turns out that Reynolds – introduced Monday as a member of the National Press Club “who organized” the event – is an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter

  11. The way I interpreted Katie’s argument is that Obama has been using “Wright-like tactics” in mocking and disrespecting Hillary throughout this campaign.

    The media has simply ignored the negative campaign that Obama has run. But now Wright is bringing the entire race baiting issue to the fore. The media need to “get it” that this has been Obama’s modus operandi from the very beginning. It’s not about Wright. He isn’t running for President. The problem we have is with Obama. He’s inexperienced, he’s arrogant, he’s disrespectful of the Clintons and of what the Democratic Party stands for, and he’s not ready to run for the highest office in this land.

  12. cdalygo: I stand by my siege mentality statement: When you have upwards of 90% of the African-American population in a state voting for the AA candidate because alleged racist remarks have inflamed them, then top it off with a visious media frenzy attack on a loudmouth pastor whose brand of christianity is unique to, but not representative of, the AA religious experience, you *do* get a siege mentality. They will continue to “circle the wagons” and be resistant to coming back into the Democratic party’s fold in the future. Go read Anglachel’s Millstone post for a better explanation.

  13. BB: Bingo!

  14. Riverdaughter,

    I just read Anglachel’s “millstone” post that you linked. It is brilliant!

  15. What I do not like about this whole thing is simply this – Why are being forced to even talk about this stuff in the primary season or even the Ge – I resent it . The country was all ready split and now the the split is deeper and has more depth to it which is bad . At first it was just our beliefs about “How rotten conservatism has /is been for our country ” – now – “Now, we , (not us) have been forced to add racism /class-ism to the national dialogue” – both are even more divisive –

    Also – I don’t like the feeling that I am being pressured to vote one way or else “there will be big trouble ” at the convention .. You betcha – I resent it . blah blah blah I don’t care about wright one darn bit – what he says to me is meaningless – but , here we are again – in an election season talking about Religion .. crap .

    o.k. early morning rant for me . . show tolerance , need more coffee ..,

  16. Riverdaughter — You’ve been quoted (extensively) at The New York Times!

  17. HEY! That’s great! Go riverdaughter!!!!

  18. Riverdaughter,

    I didn’t think he had 90% of the AA population voting for him? Wasn’t it rather that among the AA who voted 90% voted for Obama.

    I can imagine that a lot of AA Obama-critcs stay at home instead of voting their mind so as not stand in the way of a “black” candidate.

    The interesting thing to look at in my opinion is how many AA citizens who has actually decided to vote in this historical campaign. If the AA community as a whole really had a siege-like support for Obama you would expect at least 70% to go vote for him. I doubt that is the case.

  19. wow, the NYT is reading? congrats Riverdaughter! 🙂

  20. Yes congratulations! 🙂

  21. B: You are right in your phrasing. I should correct. Thanks.

  22. Anyone else here thinks this whole resurgency of Wright is a well-planned strategy to ensure he can be totally disowned by Obama?
    Wright recordings surface; Obama cannot honestly and credibly dismiss him/those comments as there is a 20-year public connection. So he says ‘I do love him, but not his words’ and makes a race speech.
    Doubts remain in people’s minds, esp. certain non-Obamabot segments. Obama’s vulnerabilities with working class deepen.
    So they plan Wright’s public appearences, where he says some mean things about OBAMA. Now, Obama can righteously and openly say ‘see, he’s not really my friend’, and credibly, legitimately distance himself from Wright and his comments.
    Result: No more Obama connection with Wright

    People who think like Wright or agree with him (incl some parts of his AA base) can still say they dislike Wright because of the way he treated Obama. People who dislike/disagree with Wright can say they like Obama because there’s no longer the taint of association.
    I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I just finished watching a Peter Sellers movie :-).

  23. Plus the sudden public sympathy he’s getting since re-Wright happened. Even from blogs like this one…

    I’ve always got the feeling Obama and Axelrove have been a little envious of how Hillary-sympathy won her NH. He might be aiming for a similar thing – the media against him, his closest friends & relations looking like they’re scuttling his chances, the candidate emotionally exhausted: will the voters rush to the polls for him in IN and NC?

  24. Chevalier: I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Obama right now. If he hadn’t played the race card, it wouldn’t have bitten him in the ass. The Wright thing is going to exacerbate the split in the party along racial lines. The media is going to continue to whip it into a frenzy. My point is not that Obama is a person deserving of sympathy. It’s that we don’t gain anything by piling on. We must take a neutral position on this. It’s between Obama and his pastor. And it’s not our business to judge the way other people worship. If Black Liberation Theology works for some people, great. It’s as bad to judge them as it was for Obama to say that small town voters cling to their religion and guns. We shouldn’t impose our values on anyone.
    Wright has to answer for himself and Obama has to be able to get out of this mess on his own.

  25. edwardian: I’m sorry I had to delete the comment you had in the moderation queue. There wasn’t anything wrong with it except that it was Anglachel’s complete post and I already have a link to it in the post above.
    Please don’t be mad. It really is a great post and well worth the read but printing the entire thing in the body of a comment just strikes me as a no-no somehow.

  26. RD – totally understood.

    Somehow I managed to overlook that link already posted. Please pardon. Hillhugs? 🙂

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