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Lie down with dogs...

... get up with fleas. Conservative operative Andrew "Bareback Andy" Sullivan, early Obama endorser, explains to Obama what he's got to do to win. It's an old, old, game with these guys, isn't it?

Obama needs not just to distance himself from Wright's views; he needs to disown him at this point. Wright himself, it seems to me, has become part of what Obama is fighting against: the boomer,
Vietnam era's obsession with its red-blue, white-black, pro and anti-America fixations. That is not what this election needs to be about; and Wright's massive, racially divisive and, yes, bitter provocation requires a proportionate response.

We need a speech or statement from Obama in which he utterly repudiates this poison...

That's going to be hard, given how Obama's already smeared the Clintons as racists.

.... however personally difficult that may be, however damaging the impact will be. The statement today will not do it. This is no longer about cynics trying to associate one man's politics with another. It is  now about Wright attempting to
associate himself and some of his noxious, stupid, rancid views with the likely Democratic nominee. Wright has given Obama no choice - and he has also given him another opportunity. He needs to seize it.

I always love it when Republicans explain to Democrats how to win; it's cute, as long as you don't pay any attention to it. Sullivan's already thrown the generational apple of discord into the race, so he must be looking for more damage to do.

And I remember--can't, no, won't go find the link -- how excited the bright young things over at The Obama 527 The Used To Be Daily Kos were when Andrew Sullivan--"Andrew Sullivan!"--endorsed Obama. Back in the days before the Unity Pony heaved unde the bus and then sold off to the glue factory.

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

That's another part of his problem. He got non-stop air time and cable news talked about it for days and days. Is he going to get another bite at that apple? How many landmark speeches can you give about the same pastor?

Anglachel's right, Obama's problem is that, having race baited, he has no action to back up the speech. It's not Wright that's taking him down, it's Obama's decision to play the oldest kind of racial politics.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Obama's other problem is that how he initially handled Wright reveals what a rookie he is to national politics. First, by only quasi-distancing himself in the beginning of his campaign - disinviting him to the kick-off, but leaving him on his faith initiative. Then, how he handled Wright when it blew up. When I heard Obama say in his speech that he could not disown Wright, I presumed that meant that he had Wright on his team, that he wasn't going to disown him and Wright was going to be a team player. Instead, Marc Ambinder reports that Obama has only spoken to Wright once since the entire thing blew up and that it was a difficult conversation. So Obama wasn't refusing to distance himself from Wright because he had Wright under control, he was refusing to do so as part of an attempt to keep Wright under control. Big mistake, IMO.

We had that conversation about throwing people to the wolves. If Wright hadn't agreed to be a team player when this entire thing blew up, then you cut him loose immediately so he can't do more damage. It's not nice, but that's politics.

Now, having given a speech where he said he could no more disavow Wright than his grandmother, how can he personally disavow Wright?

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

going forward is...

when are blacks going to say something?(it would seem most of us have drank the kool-aid, red flavor)

Which AA leaders have stuck their necks out too far (co-signing the Obama campaign strategy) and can't pull them back quick enough to spare themselves?

I'm mean and would usually name names. But I fear that people I respect might fit into that category, and then some.

Who has stood by and allowed others to be attacked?

If the black community was in trouble prior to this election...holy-shit-on-a-shingle what the fuck will the aftermath of all this be like?

All water under the bridge? Not for me.

Fuck it...Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson have got some fuckin splainin to do when this is all over.

Al Sharpton might have gotten a taste of his medicine with Obama's reaction to the Sean Bell situation.

*sigh*

Jesse Jackson has been pretty much MIA, which I find interesting given he's been part of the subject of Obama's strategy. (Notice how no one has challenged Bill Clinton's claim that JJ didn't find anything racist about those comments?)

What a fuckin mess.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother . . ."

It's getting very crowded under that bus.

------------------------------------------------
Real Democrats aren't afraid of democracy

48 + 2 = legitimacy

Submitted by lambert on

Just sayin.

It's the only explanation!

And it must have happened recently, too. Not over the last twenty years...

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

the only thing new that Wright said the last few days was that Obama had to say what he did because he's a politician.

------------------------------------------------
Real Democrats aren't afraid of democracy

48 + 2 = legitimacy

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Wright is just the straw for the camel. Obama would've waved the Wright issue easily had he been still on the up swing. Obama is falling and his hands are full and Wright is just clinging on to other trouble.

Live by racism, die by racism.

wasabi's picture
Submitted by wasabi on

It's not just the AA's. Whoever has taken sides in this war are more than willing to overlook their own candidate's transgressions if it means a win. It's politics, and it's how it is played. 2nd place is worth exactly zip.

I do think this election will be seared in our collective memories like no other in recent history. There are wounds here that will not be easily healed.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"the Black Church" -- so is Obama throwing more than just Wright under a bus? (and remember that Obama has no real history with traditional African-American power sources)

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The wounds that don't heal are the ones that still need to be lanced and drained and stripped of dead and infected tissue.

This campaign is exactly what America needs. Rip the scabs off, see the pus, smell the putrifaction, get it right out there where it can't be denied. The only way America will ever deal with race and sexism is if they are front and center where nobody can avert their eyes.

It took street battles and blood and death to stop people from saying "nigger" right out loud like it didn't matter. It took all of that to remove the obvious legal roadblocks to equal opportunity, and we are still held back as a nation by obstructions to advancement for people based on skin color and sex; all of it needs to stop.

This is good for us, this campaign. This is surgery and cautery, exactly what has to happen if we are ever to be able to bind up the wounds and be made whole. There will be pain, but this is the pain of healing and of growth.

A generation or two from now you young people will be able to tell the tales of when America finally owned up to her faults and started to make things right. What a wonderful time to be alive; what a glorious happening to behold.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I agree this campaign is necessary (and inevitable the minute a non-white male had a shot at being the next president), but that doesn't make it any less painful. Still, I think without Hillary running, many of us would have continued to delude ourselves about our success in fighting sexism.

Same thing for racism. The media is less overtly racist, but they do love fanning those flames.

Still, it's very depressing to watch a down ticket democrat flee being linked with Barack Obama. It's sad, really, because while I can think of a lot of reasons why Obama should not be the next president, Wright doesn't even make the top 10. And while I've come to dislike a lot of things about Obama, he's done nothing to deserve to be treated as some sort of pariah by any democrat. I don't care this one is running in Mississippi.

h/t Taylor Marsh

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

They have swamps in Mississippi, and people still go missing. All that Low Country will be slow to adapt, for a long time to come. I try to be encouraged by improvement where it happens, and not overly discouraged by the trailing edge - there will always be one.

As a nation we will be much improved by these events, and I cannot abide all the doom and gloom. More cheerful warriors, please.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

which isn't the same, but is pretty close.

I'm not shocked to see Childers run from Obama (he'd do the same to Clinton). I grew up in Kentucky and spent my teen years watching local democrats running from Mondale and Dukakis as fast as they could. It's just I've always seen it done with a bit more finesse. So I think my post was a bit misleading in that I'm not shocked down ticket dems in red states run from the nominee, I'm shocked that he was so blatant about running from the nominee. I think that's what took me aback so much. Distancing, I'm used to. Running a sprint in the opposite direction as fast as your feet will travel? Not so much.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they're being hurt specifically because they endorsed or supported him--they want to be elected and don't need this tied to them.

bring, this is exposing plenty, but not doing anything at all to heal--it's in fact hardening positions and enabling rationalizations for them, and affirming them all.

wasabi's picture
Submitted by wasabi on

I'd agree that it's just what we need if we could get a joint ticket.

If only one goes on to be in the Dem ticket and they lose in the GE, there will be no end to the blame assigned by both camps for the outcome.

I say, sink or swim, together.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

bec you think it would show we've advanced at all or moved past endemic racism and/or sexism is in itself bandaging and then completely dismissing the issues as settled--falsely.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Who is made better? AfAms will vote for the Democrat as long as they see that Obama has gotten fair treatment - and he is getting exactly that. Marginally more might vote for Obama than Clinton, but virtually none of them will cross over to McCain. The small reduction in turnout of a minority block will not tip the outcome in any state.

Of Clinton voters who may be disaffected by Obama, most of them are also in the most economically distressed parts of the country. As the economy weakens and McStraghttalk explains that he thinks the problem is just something to work through, a strong Democratic argument for economic recovery will be very persuasive. Not everyone will vote pocketbook, but many will. Both Clintons will campaign for Obama, vigorously and honestly, because they're professional and practical. It is both the right thing to do and in their best interest. They will put their arms around Obama and make it OK to vote black.

Obama and Clinton both have flawed candidacies. Think of them as being in rowboats, both of them leaking. Lashing the two rowboats together won't stop them from sinking; they each of them need to bring onboard a VP with a bucket, to bail them out.

I rather like that imagery.

BDBlue, Alabama is indeed much like Mississippi. The difference for Childers is there's no need to finess with Obama; everybody understands the problem, dontchaknow? He would have needed to be more polite, more measured with someone like Mondale or Dukakis, white men deserving at least some measure of respect because they're, well, White Men, and with Hillary there'd be a need for some small measure of Southern chivalry because she is, after all, a White Woman. But for Bah-rack Who-Sayen Oh-bama? Not so much. Sprint away is what he'd better do if he wants to keep his job. Sad, so sad, but it is the reality of Mississippi today and we are better as a nation for seeing it clearly.

Amber, I understand what you're saying but I disagree. What's being exposed is what is already there but for most people comfortably hidden, hidden in plain sight with nobody wanting to talk about it. This primary has forced the conversation, forced confrontations, made people all across the country show themselves undeniably for who they are on racism and sexism, shown it as clearly as happened with racial oppression in the 60's. This nastiness, this exposure of ugliness, has to happen for us to get moving forward; No Pain, No Gain. Have courage, it truly will be better for us all.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I think it's a disaster, worse if it's Obama/Clinton, but not much better the other way. Once I might've thought differently, but Obama is a wounded man, the only question is whether he can still limp across the finish line against Clinton.

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

Whoever has taken sides in this war are more than willing to overlook their own candidate’s transgressions if it means a win. It’s politics, and it’s how it is played. 2nd place is worth exactly zip.

But...

the instant someone implies that I'm suffering from a slave mentality for not supporting The One...

Starts to become very personal.

Politics schmolitics.