Yes, he refused to fully denounce Wright, but he managed to seem like he was grounding his refusal in love and personal loyalty while still making it clear that Wright's words were unacceptable. In effect, he says he loves the sinner but hates the sin. In this age where politicians throw their inconvenient passengers under the bus after the first pothole, this was refreshing even if it was intellectually wanting.[...]
In short, there was wonderful stuff to be found in Obama's address. You can be sure the mainstream press and the Democratic faithful will leap at the opportunity to coronate Obama for his statesmanship and brilliance the way a man dying of thirst plunges into the cool water of an oasis. The Wright story is over for everybody but the so-called forces of divisiveness.
For all the wonderful rhetoric and tantalizing promise of Obama and his speech, there's not much that is actually new here. This was largely a restatement of Jeremiah Wright's indictment of America, delivered in University of Chicago parlance instead of South Side Chicago diatribe.
The old baggage has been replaced with shinier suitcases, but the contents are the same as ever. Black America's problems can be solved by spending more money on the same old Great Society programs. Any talk about black America's problems that takes the eyes off that prize is a "distraction." And, yet again, white Americans can prove their commitment to racial justice by going along with more big government. My hope for something better proved too audacious in the end.