Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ultimate verdict: No Sale.

Barack Obama's big speech today was to try to put the Wright thing behind him. Or that is what he was hoping.

It didn't fly with me.

In essence, he flunked on two counts:
Strike one:
Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
What Obama says may be true, but Mussolini made the trains run on time, and Hitler created the autobahn. But we still view both men as bad guys.

Had I heard some of the crap over the pulpit in my ward, I'd have walked out and found a new ward - while going to the stake leadership to explain exactly why I was doing so. I wouldn't hesitate to tell the speaker that he or she was in the wrong. If necessary, I'd stop going to church for a while.

Strike two:
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.
Here is the portrayal of what an Obama administration will be: He'll deny problems when they exist, allowing them to get worse. He does not have the guts to take a tough stand and risk a lot of flak from his community or political base, the Democrats who choose to blame America for the world's ill - contrast that to President Bush, who has been more than willing to anger his community and political base when he felt it was the right thing to do (prescription drugs, immigration, etc.).

Obama has missed opportunities to do so. This was his last, best chance. He did not do so, instead, he tried to have it both ways.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il, Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, Osama bin Ladin, and Ayman al-Zawahiri now have plenty of reason to celebrate if Senator Obama is elected.

Obama's character was weighed today and found wanting. That's why he won't get my vote.

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