By now, everyone's heard of Sen. John McCain's "Straight Talk Express," on which Mr. Maverick routinely shoots the breeze with members of the press. What many Americans may not know is that Sen. Barack Obama has his own campaign bus, "The Expediency Express," which is regularly deployed to flatten anyone who interferes with Obama's quest for power. The Expediency Express knows no loyalty, so passengers board at their own risk. From low-level staffers , to longtime confidants, to senior advisors, to blood relatives, Obama has displayed an unflinching willingness to toss pretty much anyone under his bus as soon as they're seen as a major liability to his campaign.
Let's review the casualties thus far. The most prominent victim, of course, was Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama long regarded as a father figure and spiritual mentor. Wright married the Obamas and baptized their daughters. The words of one of his sermons inspired the title of Barack's second autobiography, The Audacity of Hope. Even after Wright's penchant for America-hating statements and conspiracy theorizing came to light, Obama stood by his minister of twenty years, insisting that the "snippets" pounced upon by the media misrepresented Wright's worldview. Then came the infamous National Press Club performance, when Wright regurgitated all of his nuttiness within the span of an hour, then proceeded to suggest that his former congregant had only distanced himself because he was saying what he needed to say in order to get elected. Although this may have been Wright's clearest insight in years, Obama perceived it as a show of "disrespect" to him and an "insult" to his campaign. Before he could blink, Wright had tire tracks down his back. The message was clear--say whatever you'd like about America, her people, and her leaders, but if you cross Captain Change, you're toast.
The Wright episode also produced an unlikely target: Obama's own grandmother. Back when Obama was still quasi-defending Wright, he delivered his now-laughable Philadelphia speech in which he drew a moral equivalence between Wright's poisonous rantings and his grandmother's private confession of latent racial bigotry. "I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother…a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe," he said. Granny, a "typical white person" in Obama's estimation, served as a convenient sacrificial lamb. Her privately-expressed racism simply had to become public knowledge to help Obama temporarily extricate himself from a sticky situation, so under the bus she went.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography