Obama Merely Changes The Subject
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Election ’08: Rather than break ties with his demagogic, anti-American pastor, Barack Obama used a speech on race to excuse his behavior and sweep the controversy under the rug. Passing the buck is not very presidential.
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Speaking in Philadelphia, steps away from where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were enacted, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president delivered an address that used the words “race” or “races” 11 times, “racial” or “racially” 15 times, and “racism” or “racist” six times.
But Obama’s recent troubles, which this much-hyped speech was supposed to put past him, are not about race relations. They’re about one churchman who happens to be black, whose views from the pulpit are repugnant and from whom Obama doesn’t seem to have the guts to distance himself.
Reacting to being linked with a bigoted conspiracy theorist by lecturing the nation on race is like disgraced ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer responding to his getting caught patronizing an international prostitution ring by giving a speech on the female physique.
The supposed divide between black and white is not the issue here; Obama’s longtime association with Jeremiah Wright is.
This is a man who believes the U.S. government formulated the HIV virus to commit genocide against blacks and that it is also responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Yes, Obama claimed in his speech to have “condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy.” But he quickly proceeded to equivocate regarding them.
The problem, according to Obama, is not that Wright is wrong about America being a racist society, but that he “sees white racism as endemic.” The problem is not that Wright has made statements that clearly seem anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli, but that he, as Obama puts it, “sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.”
Obama’s pastor of 20 years is nothing more than “imperfect,” as Obama sees it. And so, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.” He won’t quit this church where hate is spewed, and he doesn’t explain why over all the years he has never tried to straighten Wright out.
The rest of Obama’s speech was spent explaining and rationalizing hate such as Wright’s rather than denouncing it. Wright’s words “reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through,” the result of which has been “a cycle of violence, blight and neglect” still haunting America.
The solutions? Expanded government for one, of course. But while Obama concedes that “the erosion of black families” is “a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened,” he fails to understand what “Wealth and Poverty” author George Gilder knew back in 1981:
“What actually happened since 1964 was a vast expansion of the welfare rolls that halted in its tracks an ongoing improvement in the lives of the poor, particularly blacks, and left behind . . . a wreckage of broken lives and families worse than the aftermath of slavery.”
Another of Obama’s answers is that black anger and white resentment should give way to “the real culprits” — capitalists, or as Obama puts it, “a corporate culture rife with inside-dealing, questionable accounting practices and short-term greed” and Washington lobbyists who support it.
The early reaction to Obama’s speech amounted to more media fawning on the order of that which was spoofed in a recent “Saturday Night Live” sketch. The Reuters headline was “Obama denounces preacher, urges race healing.” The Boston Globe titled its story “Obama calls for racial unity.” And the Washington Post proclaimed: “Obama Confronts Race in U.S.” A CNN analyst even compared it to Lincoln’s 1858 “A House Divided” classic.
Lincoln, however, used that occasion to warn that “this government cannot endure, permanently half-slave and half-free . . . . It will become all one thing or all the other.” Unlike Obama, Honest Abe wasn’t trying to have it both ways.