"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sooo...

Rev. Wright has decided not to keep his head down until November. Instead, it's all about him - he sees just how the US govt is capable of "anything" (like infecting people with AIDS), that it's unfair to demand that he criticize Farrakhan (after all, Mandela didn't throw Castro under the bus!), that 9/11 occurred because we're terrorists ourselves, and so on and so on.

Hoo-buddy! We've all really wandered into the fever swamps now and Rev. Wright has decided, apparently, that he's not backing down an inch. No sir, he's got nothing to apologize for. And that Obama denunciation/disavowal? Just "politics," dude, can't you see that?

So Obama has a choice. He's certain to be asked about these sets of remarks; what does he do? If he continues to denounce Wright's views (as opposed to Wright himself), he's just setting himself up, isn't he? Isn't it clear that Wright just *loves* the attention and will play things up as much as he can? And eventually, he's going to have to start answering specific questions about specific claims - does *he* believe the AIDS stuff, etc.?

The problem is, though, that if he goes whole hog and gets serious about his denunciations, that is what will dominate the news for at least the next week, right up through the Indiana primary, and he'll be dealt another big loss. What's more, he's in danger of becoming *defined* by his association with the wackadoo fringe of American religion. But here's the real kicker: setting aside some of the more conspiratorial stuff (e.g. AIDS), what about Wright's views would the hard-core lefties that populate too much of American academia actually disagree with? America as structurally racist? Check. Islamic terrorism essentially "caused" by US foreign policy? Check. Israel as the "problem" in the Middle East? Check. How many of these folks will sit still if Obama goes after Wright's views - who will pen the first essay lamenting Obama's capitulation to monied Jewish interests? Or the lack of his "real" progressive politics?

I'd really be enjoying this more, though, if I didn't think that he wasn't still the odds-on favorite for the presidency. Gulp.

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