With each new utterance on the topic of Reverend Wright, Barack Obama seems to confirm his own moral obliviousness. Worse yet, he seems to have disdain for those who are troubled by his own unwillingness, even now, to break with Wright. (Contrary to his liberal apologists who insist “leaving a church is never a simple transaction,” it is exceedingly easy–you just stand up and go.)
The latest: “I never heard him say some of the things that have people upset.” Let’s leave aside for a moment the Clintonian slipperiness of the word “some.” Let’s not dwell on the quite obvious possibility that he might have heard or read comments of Wright’s approximating those on the dozens of tapes that have now come to light. Here’s the meat of it: just “people” are upset–not him mind you, since he is operating on a higher moral plane. I suppose he would have defended Trent Lott’s single remark about Strom Thurmond with every fiber of his being.
But it gets worse. Obama insists Wright is “a brilliant man who was still stuck in a time warp.” So brilliant, apparently, that he has uncovered the plot by white America to kill African Americans and so insightful as to perceive the 9/11 attacks as caused by America’s own terrorism. Then there was his discerning observation that Israel is a “dirty” word. (In what time period would these type of views have been acceptable?) And after all this, Wright, in Obama’s eyes, is brilliant. This, we are told by the legions of Obamaphiles, is not supposed to affect voters’ view of Obama’s judgment.
Perhaps Democratic primary voters are immune to the implications of all this. Perhaps they still fancy Obama as a great ethical leader who is going to lead us out of our history of divisiveness and small-mindedness. Or perhaps they are just embarrassed to tell pollsters they are privately offended. But in a general election contest this is not going to go unnoticed. We will have to see if he can get any Republican votes and just how many independents will be irked by this moral obtuseness. (And that loud thud you just heard? The entire RNC oppo research team falling down in a faint. They are never going to top this.)