Charles Krauthammer

That was then. On Tuesday, Obama declared that he himself was surprised at Wright's outrages. But hadn't Obama told us that surprise about Wright is a result of white ignorance of black churches brought on by America's history of segregated services? How then to explain Obama's own presumed ignorance? Surely he too was not sitting in those segregated white churches on those fateful Sundays when he conveniently missed all of Wright's racist rants.

Obama's turning surprise about Wright into something to be counted against whites -- one of the more clever devices in that shameful, brilliantly executed, 5,000-word intellectual fraud in Philadelphia -- now stands discredited by Obama's own admission of surprise. But Obama's liberal acolytes are not daunted. They were taken in by the first great statement on race: the Annunciation, the Chosen One comes to heal us in Philly. They now are taken in by the second: the Renunciation.

Obama's newest attempt to save himself after Wright's latest poisonous performance is now declared the new final word on the subject. Therefore, any future ads linking Obama and Wright are pre-emptively declared out of bounds, illegitimate, indeed "race-baiting"(New York Times editorial, April 30).

On what grounds? This 20-year association with Wright calls into question everything about Obama: his truthfulness in his serially adjusted stories of what he knew and when he knew it; his judgment in choosing as his mentor, pastor and great friend a man he just now realizes is a purveyor of racial hatred; and the central premise of his campaign, that he is the bringer of a "new politics," rising above the old Washington ways of expediency. It's hard to think of an act more blatantly expedient than renouncing Wright when his show, once done from the press club instead of the pulpit, could no longer be "contextualized" as something whites could not understand and only Obama could explain in all its complexity.

Turns out it was not that complex after all. Everyone understands it now. Even Obama.


Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.

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