Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama's Speech was Brilliant -- and sad

First, I have to say Obama's speech was brilliant. He performed well and accomplished what he needed to do. Let's remember, he was addressing first and foremost the superdelegates who will put him over the top for the Democratic nomination. The only way he could fail to win would be if Hillary convinced the party big shots that Obama was unelectable. The Pastor Wright controversy gave her an opening, but Obama slammed the door shut with his speech. There is no way any Democrat is going to say that he can't vote for Obama because of his association with Wright. Obama wins, Hillary loses.

The second question is: how does this play for the general election? Here, I think he did just well enough to win, but passed up an opportunity to make history along the lines of Martin Luther King Jr. He could have tried to put the issue of race in politics behind us, but he wants it both ways. Race still matters, blacks are understandably unsatisfied, whites should feel guilty. But with Obama's leadership we can all come together as good liberals and get past race so that we can concentrate on the real issues of class and wealth. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear.p/ppObama essentially came out for the "Right to Hate America". Pastor Wright's statements are wrong, but we can appreciate where he's coming from: "Hate you can believe in" might be a good slogan. Wright has the audacity to hate America for her sins, and Obama seems to accept that as a necessary path to salvation. Obama plays a dangerous game where he tries to love the sinner without condemning the sin. He makes it sound like Wright's diatribes against America are part of the truth, just incomplete. Obama will supply the missing pieces when he and his followers create a more perfect Union./ppConservatives are naturally upset by some of Obama's moral equivalencies. Many of us will remember this as the speech where Obama threw his white grandmother under the bus by comparing her private off-color remarks to the rantings of Reverend Wright. He implies that we're all embarrassed from time to time by what our ministers, priests and rabbis might say. I suppose for liberals, it must be uncomfortable to hear a Catholic priest preach against abortion rights or a Jewish rabbi assert Israel's right to defend herself. But politics trumps religion so we have to let some things slide.

The point is that Trinity United Church of Christ was part of Obama's political base. He needed their support to get started in Chicago. He doesn't want to drop them at this point because that would look bad to Democrats. But if necessary, he can denounce Wright when the time is right during the general election campaign. The race is now Obama's to lose.

No comments: