that’s a very big bus

Barack Obama’s bus would have to be quite large to absorb all of the people Barack has thrown under it.  The current endangered organism is his former church, Trinity United Church of Christ. It would almost be amusing to watch Barack Obama disown people who he intimately or barely knows, except that we do expect better judgment or discernment from a guy who wants to be our next president.   This stuff is no-win for Senator Obama.  If he says that he attended Trinity for 20 years, and had no clue that Jeremiah Wright was someone who would be damaging to his political career in the long run, then I’m not sure he’s got the great judgment that he is alleged to have. If he is acquainted with other Trinity pastors/ministers like Father Pfleger and yet he still lacks the ability to take their true measure, this is very troubling to me.  Either Barack used these Chicago-area ministers to build his street cred and didn’t really care much about (or intentionally ignored) their political views, or he completely bought what they were selling in addition to using them to further his local political career.  Either way, it doesn’t reflect favorably on the man.

I was ready to believe that this Jeremiah Wright stuff would be old news by November.  After all, he’s gotten this far with a very compliant and willing press supporting him no matter what he does.  If these quotes from Father Pfleger hadn’t come out, Trinity and Jeremiah Wright would have become less of a compelling story than they were when this controversy first started. In addition to that, Obama is not even making a clean break from Trinity.  Here’s part of what he said:

I am not denouncing the church. I am not interested in people who want me to denounce the church because it’s not a church worthy of denouncing. And so if they’ve seen caricatures of the church and accept those caricatures despite my insistence that’s not what the church is about, then there’s not much I can do about it.

This is absolute nonsense.  What we are seeing with Trinity United Church of Christ is not a caricature. It’s a troubling pattern of behavior and attitudes, starting first with Jeremiah Wright and continuing with the new pastor as well as Father Pfleger.  But of course none of the people I’ve mentioned represent what the church believes or what its parishioners believe.  It’s only our misconceptions of what the church is based on the views of a few of their pastors.  How stupid does Barack Obama think we are?  Even when he makes the right decision, there is still this level of “pass the buck” in it.  Like we aren’t sophisticated enough to understand the true nature of people like Jeremiah Wright or his fellow travelers at Trinity.  We get it. He doesn’t seem to get it.  Even now.

he’s not going away quietly

And after all John McCain’s complaints about the NCGOP and how mean and nasty they were to bring up Senator Obama’s relationship with Jeremiah Wright, the man himself says that his relationship with his former pastor is a “legitimate political issue“. Then it should be ok for Republicans to bring it up in ads, right?

Here’s the exchange between Obama and Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: I wasn’t sure whether I was even going to ask you about your former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, but he made it easy for me because he’s now begun this –

OBAMA: Right.

WALLACE: — public campaign to redeem his reputation. The other night he said to Bill Moyers that he has been the target of a smear campaign.

Question: Do you think that Reverend Wright is just the victim here?

OBAMA: No. I think that people were legitimately offended by some of the comments that he had made in the past. The fact that he is my former pastor I think makes it a legitimate political issue. So I understand that.

I think that it is also true that to run a snippet of 30-second sound bites, selecting out of a 30-year career, simplified and caricatured him, and caricatured the church. And I think that was done in a fairly deliberate way.

And that is unfortunate, because as I’ve said before, I have strongly denounced those comments that were the subject of so much attention. I wasn’t in church when he made them. But I also know that I go to church not to worship the pastor, to worship God. And that ministry, the church family that’s been built there, does outstanding work, has been I think applauded for its outreach to the poor.

He built that ministry. And I think that, you know, people need to take a look at the whole church and the whole man in making these assessments.

The good and bad news for Senator Obama is that we will get to hear more from Rev. Wright, and we can get the full context we need to make a judgment call on whether all this negative press Wright’s been getting is deserved. I say that it is. He isn’t taking back any of the inflammatory things he’s previously said, and he keeps adding more fuel to the fire as he attempts to defend his reputation and his church. Even though I disagree with Rev. Wright on 99% of the stuff he says, he did say one thing to Bill Moyers and in his speech to the National Press Club that I agree with — he said that Barack is just a politician and that he does what he does for political reasons. That’s the point that we have been trying to make — there’s nothing special about Barack other than his ability to wow people with his speeches. He believes the same nonsense on policy that Hillary does, and the left won’t see much difference in a President Obama as opposed to a President Hillary. No doubt Barack is a nice guy, but that’s not enough to make him President.

barack attempts to answer the critics

From RCP (originally posted at HuffPost), here’s Barack’s answer to those who question his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright:

The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He’s drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It’s a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

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questionable alliances

First it’s former NY Gov Eliot Spitzer and his high-priced call girl. He had to resign and he did.  It’s hard to feel any sympathy for a guy who wasn’t smart enough to recognize that he’s not the only government official capable of busting up prostitution rings.  It’s always annoying when politicians condemn activity they themselves engage in, so Spitzer isn’t getting a free pass by the public and the media.  That said, I’m not sure how strong the legal case is against him going forward.  If all he loses is his political career, that would still be a significant loss, so I’m not sure whether they should go ahead and prosecute him. Now, that’s not to say that cheating on his wife is acceptable behavior, or that politicians shouldn’t be treated the same as everyone else when they break laws. But in this case, I’m not sure there is much benefit to putting the guy in jail.

Side note to my friends on the other side of the aisle:  Democratic hypocrisy is not justified or excused by Republican hypocrisy.

Then the MSM finally gets around to questioning Barack Obama’s relationship with his controversial pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. This is different than people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell endorsing Republican presidential candidates with which they only have a passing acquaintance.  As we now know, Obama and Rev. Wright have a closer relationship than that, and it is troubling that Obama doesn’t see the problem with having a friend like this.  Obama says that he doesn’t see his church as controversial.  I think he should get a second opinion on that.  Whether or not Obama shares some or all of Rev. Wright’s views — and for the record I don’t believe that he does — he must distance himself far from this guy, or this friendship will end up hurting him in the general election.

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