The "Progressives" Love Wright
So he went at least part of the way towards the third option I laid out to him this morning:
Third, he can utterly repudiate Wright, going beyond today's statement, leaving "offend" and "does not speak for me" language behind to say, "I've seen Wright for what he really is and I regret the time I spent in his church, I repudiate him, I so not stand for Liberation Theology, which has served its purpose but is past its time, and I assure the American people that anyone who holds beliefs like his will not be welcome in my administration."The statement isn't necessary for most Obama supporters, who have already worked out how they'll stay with him despite Wright, but it will likely keep some waverers on Obama's battered ship.
What it won't do is bring back a single soul who has left Obama because of the insights the Wright debacle has given into Obama's character and his ability to pick his mentors. And it certainly won't appease the hard left, who aren't at all happy with how Obama's handled this whole thing ... people like Ruth Conniff of The Progressive, who wrote today, adding more fuel to the fire by praising Wright.
As Obama flails to distance himself from Wright, the left is racing to embrace him and all he believes in:
Much of what Wright said was absolutely true--yet too hot for white America, for the National Press Club, and for a mainstream U.S. Presidential campaign.What's funny about Conniff's column is that it starts like this ...
Instead, Wright came out swinging, mocking the media for knowing nothing about the black church, for taking soundbites from his sermons out of context, and, basically, for being lazy and ignorant.... then she proves they were neither lazy nor ignorant by gleefully reveling in all the awful Wright comments that show he was not taken out of context at all.
It was striking to hear the themes of Wright's speech: the criticism of U.S. militarism and imperialism, racial and economic injustice, the references to progressive figures from Cornel West to Jim Wallis, and watch the audience and the press corps react.Forget the generalizations; let's get into this:
To be sure, Wright's refusal to denounce Louis Farrakhan, his angry-sounding declaration that Farrakhan didn't put him in chains or "make me this color," his assertion that "yes, I believe our country is capable of doing anything" in answer to a question about whether he thinks the United States deliberately infected black people with AIDS will be held against him.Yeah, but not everyone will hold it against him:
But the audience of his friends and supporters [like Conniff] ate up his strikes back against what has surely been a racist and unfair campaign against him.Why? Do they think the presidential candidate's long-time pastor is really anti-American ... that all those soundbites really were correct? You bet:
Wright doesn't hesitate to puncture the national myth of America's essential goodness.Note from Obama camp: Thanks a great big bunch, Conniff.
hat-tip: RCP; art: Ian Davis