A young Democrat quoted in the Wall Street Journal says of Barack Obama’s association with Trinity Church: “I wouldn’t want to be associated with people who say things like that.” Many have tried to rationalize Obama’s continued presence at Trinity United. But now Stanley Kurtz come along to detail exactly why and how deeply Obama was associated with Wright, Pfleger, and liberation theology in practice. It seems clear that Obama very much wanted to be associated with these people precisely because his “long-held and decidedly audacious hope has been to spread Wright’s radical spirit by linking it to a viable, left-leaning political program, with Obama himself at the center.” Kurtz’s article is a must read, and the bottom line is disturbing :
So Obama’s political interest in Trinity went far beyond merely gaining a respectable public Christian identity. On his own account, Obama hoped to use the untapped power of the black church to supercharge hard-left politics in Chicago, creating a personal and institutional political base that would be free to part with conventional Democratic politics. By his own testimony, Obama would seem to have allied himself with Wright and Pfleger, not in spite of, but precisely because of their radical left-wing politics. It follows that Obama’s ties to Trinity reflect on far more than his judgment and character (although they certainly implicate that). Contrary to common wisdom, then, Obama’s religious history has everything to do with his political values and policy positions, since it confirms his affinity for leftist radicalism.
So if some were disturbed by the implication that Obama had “played” the black churches and put up a front to gain political acceptance and support for his blossoming career, it may come as a bigger shock to learn that his embrace of the radicals and their extreme rhetoric and agenda was sincere. His current post-racial, moderate sounding themes may be a front. It would be ironic if those supposedly know-nothing hicks (according to the mainstream media) from West Virginia who told exit pollsters in overwhelming numbers that they believed Obama shared Wright’s views were exactly on the mark.
This explains, perhaps, why Obama took such great personal offense at being called out by Rev. Wright as insincere and acting like a politician. As nutty and vitriolic as he may be, Wright was witness to Obama’s deep involvement in the milieu which Kurtz describes. Wright’s willingness to pull back the curtain and reveal that Obama’s “signature theme” (as Kurtz put it) was in lockstep with Wright’s and Pfleger’s views struck at the heart of Obama’s efforts to win the nomination and the presidency. Because, after all, if Americans came to believe that Obama did not merely tolerate Wright and Pfleger, but agreed wholeheartedly with their outlook and approach then Obama’s chances for the presidency would likely be dashed. That’s enough to get a denouncement from the man who does not do denouncements.