After a significant period of silence, coverage of the loony comments made by Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama’s pastor Reverend Wright, have been getting coverage in the mainstream media. Here is one example:
We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost (Sept. 16th 2001).
The Contentious Centrist, But I am a Liberal!, and other bloggers have been covering the story—including Wright’s connections to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and trip to Libya—for some time. But now that every American household with a television is being bombarded with clips of his venom, I suspect it will have some negative impact on Obama’s candidacy, especially in the general election.
Not for the “progressive” party faithful. From them one generally hears one of two responses. First, “you can’t hold him responsible for what his pastor said.” But the further one moves to the left, the more you hear, “Obama’s pastor was correct, the United States is a horrible imperialist country,” or something along those lines. For most liberal Democratic voters, Senator Obama’s condemnation of Reverend Wright’s comments and Obama’s removing him from his team of advisors on religious issues is more than adequate. “What more can he do?,” they ask?
Unfortunately for Obama this will probably not be enough for so-called “Reagan Republicans” or centrists. In order for Obama to win in purple states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, he needs the support of patriotic, blue-collar voters who will not think highly of Reverend Wright’s comments. If polls are correct, fewer than 8% of Americans agree with the opinions of Wright. This is encouraging.
But this is deeper than rhetoric and speaks to Obama’s worldview. I have not read either of Senator Obama’s books but if the twisted thoughts and rancorous opinions of Reverend Wright form a basis of Obama’s political ideology, it will prove very damaging among a significant constituency of American voters. Many of us are troubled that Senator Obama and his family attend a church where such hateful ideas were being taught.
More: Sultan Knish discusses the role of another “Obama mentor,” Father Michael Pfleger. Here is a small excerpt (read the entire post here):
Father Michael Pfleger like Jeremiah Wright has a close relationship to Farrakhan and a close relationship to Obama. A closer one than he does to his own Cardinal Francis George who has questioned whether he should even be a priest and at one point reassigned him entirely…
I’ve known the minister (Farrakhan) both as someone who I have great respect for as a prophetic voice, as a mentor but also as a friend and as a brother. We’ve become very close friends over the years. Our families have been close; he’s shared dinner at my house as I have at his many, many times. He has preached from our pulpit here
at this church on three different occasions. We’ve worked together on issues not only for this community but in the city and in the nation…
Pfleger defended the Nation of Islam repeatedly and insulted Jewish critics of NOI as “narrow minded” Father Michael Pfleger also invited Kareem Irfan, former chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago to speak on the anniversary of 9/11. Kareem Irfan is infamous for excusing beheadings by terrorists and is an ISNA member, a Saudi subsidized Wahhabi group with close ties to terrorism.
As a side note, it was an amazing coincidence that Reverend White’s “chickens coming home to roost” comment was getting wide play as we were making a transition from discussing the early civil rights movement—A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King, Jr.—to the early development of black power and the New Left. Malcolm X’s comment about the “chickens coming home to roost” in reference to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was briefly discussed.