Wednesday, May 7, 2008

With Friends Like This...

"I've always said that in politics, your enemies can't hurt you, but your friends will kill you." --Ann Richards.

I know you all have been waiting for me to weigh in on Barack Obama and his troubles with the esteemed (or not) Reverend Jeremiah Wright. So here goes:

I think it's significant that the worst dirt that Obama's political enemies can dig up on him is actually dirt about someone else. Jesus himself associated with some pretty nasty people as well--and the religious and political leaders of the time used it against him. (Note: I'm not comparing Barack Obama with Jesus. I'm just comparing the situations.)

It seems that Wright is doing everything he can to hurt Obama's chances of success in his White House bid. I do not understand this. Is he doing this on purpose, because his feelings are hurt? Or is he truly ignorant of the effect that his opinions and his vitriol will have on the aspirations of his former parishioner?

It was more than a little bit prescient when, in his memoir Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama recorded this conversation with Reverend Wright:

"I'll try to help you if I can," he [Wright] said. "But you should know that having us involved in your effort isn't necessarily a feather in your cap."

"Why's that?"

Reverend Wright shrugged. "Some of my fellow clergy don't appreciate what we're about. They feel like we're too radical. Others, we ain't radical enough. Too emotional. Not emotional enough. Our emphasis on African history, on scholarship--"

It seems that Obama's pastor troubles did not hurt him at all in North Carolina, and not as much as the pundits predicted in Indiana. Good. Because here's the bottom line: Wright does not speak for Obama. Obama has disavowed and vehemently disagreed with Wright's crazy-ass extremist, divisive, hate speech.

So now let's focus on the real issues of the campaign, and especially on the issues that separate the Republicans from the Democrats. As I mentioned before, John McCain's website doesn't even mention the issues that this blog believes should be front and center: things like oil and energy, poverty, and education.

11 comments:

ladychgo said...

With all due respect and without giving him more credit than any ONE man is due, I have to ask...did you personally watch Wright's speeches that the media (including NPR!!!) have ripped to shreds? I decided, contrary to my typical way, to reserve comments on this until I had taken the time to watch his NAACP speech and sermons. (For one, as a fellow Obama supporter, I know other Obama supporters that very much agree with Wright and even, his timing. People for who I respect their opinion as much as I do yours.)I have to say, Mrs. Peevie, that I was shocked by the truth & candor of this man and frankly, more outraged with the media snippets (which they took completely out of context) than I am with Wright for his timing, even. Sure, he has said a few things that, if he was a politician, would be in poor taste and judgment, but he's not a politician, as he said, he's a preacher! His comments on Lewis Farcon (as much as I'm so not a fan on the man) carry some significant truth. My hunch is that Wright's comments, PARTICULARLY at a time like this, only goes to show how divided the black and white churches are (and I purposely use a lower case "c").

ladychgo said...

I should add, I hesitant even to comment. But, something tells me that your hope in bringing anything potentially controversial to your blog, would, in fact, bring forth conversation. I'll be interested to see if this is the case. It's been my experience with others, like you, who bring controversy (i.e. politics, religion, policy, what have you) to their blogs, it's THOSE very entries that don't get commented on. Thus, to spice things up, I posted.

Anonymous said...

Eve,

Obama is a junor senator that hasn't accomplished much and never steps over party lines. I just don't think someone like him represents what the people really want.

The fact is no is perfect but i think it is significant that he would spend many years at the Rev's church and that he was a mentor.

Yes our Jesus loved sinners but he didn't make them his mentors. Barack views and policies don't have much in common with the Jesus of the Bible or he would have challenged the Rev. opinions long before it became popular.

Sorry, I think you are all wet on this one.
Mb

corduroy said...

Anon, I'm not even a Obama supporter now, but c'mon, "hasn't accomplished much"?! He's got half of every living democrat voting for him and wasn't even a household name a year and half ago! He's by all accounts going to win the democratic nomination. That's quite an "accomplishment"!

E. Peevie said...

LadyC--No, I didn't watch or listen to an entire speech or sermon. But after the initial outburst, which really WAS just based upon snippets with no context, I did listen to longer portions. And unfortunately, I have to agree with those who suggest that there's no amount of context that is going to make some of his comments acceptable. Not for a politician, and, to me, especially not for a minister of the gospel.

E. Peevie said...

And BTW, I'm glad and honored that you posted. Never fear to comment. Remember, I am a comment ho.

E. Peevie said...

Anon, I understand why you say what you say about experience, although I think it's a tired criticism of a leader who has demonstrated his leadership in many ways.

I'm curious about what you mean when you say that "someone like him" wouldn't be able to represent what the people really want.

And I'm not just fishing for more comments.

Although that would be nice.

ladychgo said...

MB just gave me huge license in here comment to let me jump into this one. It's a good thing God's grace covers us all, because I just about flew off the handle when I read that post.

So, I'm sorry, but I can't help post part Ihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upNvLOjo-ew (there are six parts which you can find on the right-hand side on the page) of Wright's NAACP speech. Personally, I think it is phenomenal. I'll come right out and say that. Maybe it's because of the experiences I've had in my SHORT time on Chicago's South side, but I can't demonize the man...at all!

You might be curious this website: http://www.theroot.com/ It's one that friends and I follow. Perhaps another voice for you.

Also, Christianity Today's article by Jason Byassee, http://www.christianitytoday.com/
ct/2008/mayweb-only/119-31.0.html?
start=1. (Long link there that I broke up, so you might just want to type in his name, "Wright", and "Christianity Today" into Google).

Politics is rarely clear cut, and this, in particular, is no exception. I think each of you have raised valid points, but I also think it's good to round out who one listens to and I'm not convinced the three who posted here aren't looking to a variety of sources in formulating their opinion. So, in an effort, to round things out...

ladychgo said...

And, does anyone know how to edit comments with blogger once you've posted them? Or, is it a permanent thing?

E. Peevie said...

ladychgo, I don't have any quarrel with the parts of the NAACP speech that I saw--it's the other stuff, the sermon stuff that's inflammatory.

I have to say, though, that I agree that some of Wright's words were definitely taken out of context. Some, but not all.

Also, I think our mutual friend hammerdad's blog (http://joelhamernick.blogspot.com/2008/04/rev-wright-malcom-x-and-my-non.html) and read his thoughts about this situation, and I think he added some compassion and wisdom to the discussion.

I wish I knew how to use HTML tags in comments.

ladychgo said...

Yeah, I'd mentioned your blog to him. I see that you've met now over cyberspace.

Yes, he's very gracious and I so often have to be as well. There are some forums, however, that I like the luxury of not having to be quite so diplomatic.

Thanks for watching those clips!

Love your blog!