Wright poses a possibly lethal threat to Obama's chance to be president. Obama's great appeal is that he's the political equivalent of Tiger Woods. He's not an America hater or a race man like Charlie Rangel or Jesse Jackson. Wright makes Americans wonder: why is Obama so close to a man whose incendiary views are far worse than that of just about any black radical figure with the possible exception of Louis Farrakhan? Isn't professed ignorance of Wright's political views, combined with a refusal to cut ties with him, proof of Obama's bad judgment?
Remarkably Obama has refused to make a wholesale repudiation of Wright. All of us, Obama says, have preachers and mentors that we disagree with. But how many of us attend churches where the preacher makes the kind of comments that Wright has made? Even in the black church, “God damn America” is not standard fare. Certainly Martin Luther King didn’t talk like that.
Obama insists on likening Wright to a family member, kind of like his white grandmother. Nothing Obama cited from his grandmother even comes to Wright’s hate speech. Besides, she’s his grandmother. We don’t choose our relatives but we do choose our pastors and mentors. In addition, grandma made her comments within the privacy of the household while Wright shouted his from the pulpit.
Pretty soon people are going to ask: Is Wright's influence the reason why Obama doesn't want to wear an American flag pin? Or raise his hand to his chest when the national anthem is played? Is Wright's ideology part of the reason why Obama's wife says she has not been proud of America for her whole adult life? And behind all this, the big question: at a time of war, can America is entrusted to a man who seems tolerant of the kind of vicious anti-Americanism that we are used to hearing from our worst enemies?
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