Jack Kerwick

Charles Krauthammer is typically held in the highest regard by some media personalities on the right.The same can be said for George Will.

Yet very recently, while promoting his latest book, Krauthammer revealed to Bret Baier of Fox News that neither he nor Will knew a thing about “the real” Barack Obama back in 2008 prior to the latter’s election to the presidency.

Will seconded this thought.

Let this sink in: Krauthammer and Will, veteran media commentators—self-avowed “conservative” commentators—admit, and think nothing of admitting, that up until his election, they just couldn’t figure out what kind of president Obama promised to be.

This is amazing.

Among those amazed by Krauthammer’s and Will’s professed ignorance was Rush Limbaugh.

On his nationally syndicated radio show, on October 28, Limbaugh remarked: “I am convinced that all conservatives know a statist and a big-government redistributionist when they see one, especially people like Krauthammer and Will.” In disbelief, he added: “It doesn’t compute with me that they didn’t know [who Obama really was].”

Krauthammer accused Limbaugh of misconstruing his position.What the former actually said, Krauthammer insisted, is that “when Obama was elected, it was not clear whether he was a centrist Democrat who would throw a bone to the left; or if he was a man of the left who would occasionally throw a bone to the center.”

Hopefully it is clear to the reader that Krauthammer’s “defense” of his earlier remarks simply reinforces the painful fact that Limbaugh understood him all too well.

At the time of the election of 2008, there was no conceivable justification for anyone, much less seasoned right-leaning commentators, to have had any doubts whatsoever about Obama.

Long before Election night, everyone who wanted to know who Obama was had that information available to them in spades.After all, it wasn’t as if the man was a nameless drifter.Obama was a United States Senator and, before that, a state Senator from Illinois. His relationships with an array of radicals from the political cesspool of Chicago, radicals like convicted terrorist Bill Ayers, were well established. For God’s sake, the man had published not one, but two memoirs.The subtitle of the first—“A Story of Race and Inheritance”—revealed for all with eyes to realize it that Obama’s had been a lifelong preoccupation with racial identity—and racial politics.

We knew then that not only had Obama resisted efforts to provide legal protection for those infants who had survived botched abortions, he also was on record for lamenting the fact that the United States Constitution makes no allowances for wealth redistribution—or what Obama and his ilk call “positive liberty.”

Most tellingly of all, though, is that months before Obama was elected to the Oval Office, the name of Jeremiah Wright became known to the nation.Wright is an impassioned advocate of “Black Liberation Theology” and a close friend of Louis Farrakhan and the late Muammar Gaddafi.

He was also Obama’s pastor and, as the President described him, his “spiritual mentor,” the man who “brought him to Christ.” For over 20 years Obama sat in the pews of Wright’s church, a church in which the congregation was routinely subjected to sermons chock full of racially-charged diatribes.Such was Obama’s spiritual and intellectual indebtedness to Wright that the title of the former’s second memoir, The Audacity of Hope, was first the title of one of Wright’s sermons, the sermon in which he memorably remarks that “white folks’ greed runs a world in need”—a line that Obama would approvingly draw upon himself.

And yet, we are expected to believe, Wright had no influence over the development of Obama’s worldview.

Apparently, Krauthammer and Will did believe this.

Or at least they wanted to believe it.

We can bet anything that if Obama had been white and had a track record of allying himself with neo-Nazis or Klansmen, or even had he been a little too close to “isolationists” like, say, Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul, Krauthammer and Will would’ve wasted no time to judge him for what he was .

Like legions of (mostly white) Americans, though, they wanted to believe that Obama, America’s first black president, was different.

Krauthammer, Will, and every other self-professed “conservative” who failed to expose the real Obama were either naïve or dishonest.Their blindness was either genuine or contrived.

Whatever the case may be, they threw their own credibility into question.


Jack Kerwick

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at jackk610@verizon.net or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.