Monday, March 17, 2008

For OBAMA! Tomorrow’s the Big Day, Where He Faces the Ghost of Yassir Arafat

Update (25 March 08): I’ve disliked this post from about 5 minutes after hitting ‘publish’, and have been wondering what to do with it. The obvious choice – deleting the thing – seems the coward’s way out.

It’s poorly written. Sort of like the rest of my posts. There’s a lot of material to be had savaging Senator Obama’s budding cult of personality, but structurally, it doesn’t mix well, or at least I didn’t mix it well with a discussion of the perils of the big race speech.

Structurally, the main points hold – Senator Obama needs to be able to say different things to multiple audiences, and keep the conversations separate.

It also holds that he’s been willingly exposing his children to this venom for years. Kids aren’t big on nuance and sophistry. They get pretty quickly that the pastor is a respected leader, and you should take what he says seriously. To subject your children to this environment is to endorse it.

On to the original post:
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When he comes to bury Jeremiah Wright, not to praise him. The unity schtick is a tough sell when you’ve spent the last 20 years at a church preaching racist drivel.

It’s tough to toss your pastor of 20 years under the bus for sheer political expediency. Well, probably not that tough. Think McCain got grief over the endorsement of John Hagee? Just think of the upshot if Hagee had been McCain’s pastor for 20 years, conducting his marriage ceremony, baptizing his children, etc., etc,. etc.

In many respects, this is the speech where Sen. OBAMA! Faces the ghost of Yassir Arafat. Chill out dudes, I’m not suggesting that He Who Must Not Be Middle Named is Muslim – just that he needs to play the Arafat Card, and can’t.

What is the Arafat Card, you ask?

The Arafat Card is oft played by despots in the middle east – in English, give a bunch of “What’s so Funny ‘bout Peace, Love, and Understanding” speeches, and in Arabic “Let’s drive the Jews into the Sea” speeches, within the space of an hour or so.

Unfortunately for OBAMA! Arafat could deliver the second speech in Arabic. OBAMA! is stuck with 20 years of sermons in English. And no thinking person believes that he wasn’t exposed to this racist drivel for 20 years. After all, ABC just exposed his “greatest hits” – the sermons most judged suitable for public consumption.

So, the choices are: admit that you spent 20 years and many thousands of dollars at this church to benefit your political career because a) you believed this racist drivel; or b) that you needed to be at this church to build a political base for a career in IL state politics. Since either choice implies that you willingly exposed your children to racist drivel, it certainly calls your vaunted ‘judgment’ into question, now doesn’t it? Unfortunately Senator OBAMA! there is no ‘none of the above’.

On the other hand, denounce Pastor Wright too much, and you alienate your key base of far to the left support. If they don’t think that it’s a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, thing, you’re done. Don’t denounce Pastor Wright enough, and more of snippets of his race baiting will surface, costing you the general election. More practically, if this causes you to tank in PA beyond a 10 point loss to Clinton, you’re toast, and you’ll never see the general.

Even for a guy relentlessly dedicated to leaving no paper trail, things are hotting up a bit, as the ‘new politics’ gets more Nixonian.