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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Which of the Following Did Obama Hear and Not Hear?



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Obama’s latest spin on Jeremiah Wright, offered on The View, is thoroughly unconvincing.

Obama says he didn’t hear “some” of the comments that caused controversy. It would be helpful if Obama gave us a sense of which ones he had heard and let slide, and which ones prompted his (previously unexpressed) conclusion that if Wright didn’t retire, he would leave the church.

Obama keeps insisting that what we’ve seen of Wright are the equivalent of the five dumbest things anyone has ever said. Putting aside whether these comments are more accurately described as hateful, malicious, or another term beyond “dumb”, there’s more than five, and they appear fairly regularly in Wright’s career. It’s hard to believe that they represent an uncharacteristic, unthinking expression after a particularly tough day.

“God d— America.”

“Chickens come home to roost.”

“U.S. of KKK A.”

“Garlic noses.”

“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”

He called Secretary Rice “Condamnesia” and “Condoskeeza.”

“In this country, racism is as natural as motherhood, apple pie, and the fourth of July. Many black people have been deluded into thinking that our BMWs, Lexuses, Porsches, Benzes, titles, heavily mortgaged condos and living environments can influence people who are fundamentally immoral.”

Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body.”

“We invaded Grenada for no other reason than to get Maurice Bishop [a Grenada revolutionary who seized power in 1979], invaded Panama because Noriega would not dance to our tune any more. We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers.”

His pelvic thrusting from the pulpit while declaring that Bill Clinton was “ridin’ dirty” with Monica Lewinsky… 

There is the church bulletin reprinting a column by a Hamas official arguing that Israel has no right to exist and treats Palestinians worse than the Nazis treated the Jews, the declaration that 9/11 was a wake-up call “for white America“, the declaration that the surge policy was “sending 21,500 more American troops to their death“, that U.S. troops destroyed the city of Fallujah, that the war on terror is a scam…

There are also long ago actions Obama undoubtedly knew of, such as traveling with Louis Farrakhan to meet with Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi.

One of my readers, Tom, note:

So he is allowed plausible deniability by saying he didn’t hear this or wasn’t there when that was said. But this ignores the fact that parishioners in a house of worship do talk with one another outside of worship. Our local parish priest was caught up in a financial/sex scandal and the phones among the congregation were busy for weeks as they all discussed the latest news, views, etc. In less sensational times, we often discuss the latest sermon if it was not worthy in its content, positive or negative.

Therein lies my frustration, no one is calling Obama on this and allowing him to using timing and presence as a defense. The secular Left doesn’t attend services and refuses to understand that a parishioner can know about a sermon, etc. even if they weren’t in the audience at the time.

Yes, Obama can’t possibly be held responsible for know every utterance of Wright if he was not present at the time. However, for him to say he did not know generally of some of the more controversial items is not credible as it suggests one of two things: 1) Obama never communicates with his fellow parishioners outside of church (not implausible) or 2) Obama regularly speaks with others but none of those folks found any offense in what Wright said.

Beyond that, Obama is a little insulting when he accuses others of being too quick to judge Wright, or suggests those of us who are not enamored of Wright “haven’t seen this broader aspect of him.” How much more do we have to see? How much more benefit of the doubt is Wright owed? How many bits of data do we have to accumulate before we can conclude, “this guy isn’t a good guy”?

Was Don Imus owed more or less benefit of the doubt? Trent Lott? Bill Cunningham?


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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