In the 1967 comedy "A Guide for the Married Man," Joey Bishop's wife catches him in bed with another woman. As his wife stands at the bedroom door screaming at the sight, Bishop and the mistress calmly get up, make the bed and get dressed. The mistress leaves. Bishop nonchalantly sits down in the living room, lights up a pipe, picks up the newspaper and casually leafs through it. "What bed? What girl?" Bishop says. The wife begins to doubt her own eyes, even her sanity. Finally, she turns to Bishop and meekly asks what he wants for dinner. The culprit convinced the victim that she must be nuts.
On the issue of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's defenders attempt to make you feel insane. How could you bring up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright?! It "injects race" into the contest! Obama supporters warn, "After four years, how dare you 're-litigate' the matter!"
In fact, it was never "litigated" in the first place.
2008 Republican candidate John McCain feared being accused of playing the race card. But Wright is not about "race." It is much, much bigger than that. Wright is about Obama's character, beliefs and policies. The question remains the same one that should have been addressed four years ago: Do Obama and Wright share the same view of "social injustice," a perspective that reveals Obama's character and beliefs -- and reflects his current and future policies?
Obama, in 2007, described the 20-year father/son-like relationship this way: "What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice. He's much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I'm not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that's involved in national politics."
But Wright is off-limits.
Obama was probably the most surprised politician in America when McCain refused to jam Wright down Obama's throat -- as Obama would most assuredly have if the situation were reversed. Reluctant to "inject race"? Obama's hand-picked chair of the Democratic National Committee routinely accuses the Republicans of wanting "to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." People forget the bare-knuckled way Obama got every serious opponent kicked off the ballot in his first Illinois state Senate race -- and was therefore elected with no serious opposition.
But Wright, who described himself as a "second father" to Obama, is off-limits.