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Where There's Holy Smoke...

A lot of people are talking about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and his relationship to Senator Barack Obama. It seems the good reverend has a penchant for inflammatory remarks (that's polite language for "hate-filled demagoguery"), and some think it's unfair to tar Senator Obama with "guilt by association."

I'm one of those people. It would take a very serious relationship between the two men, beyond pastor and congregant, for me to use Reverend Wright's remarks to call into question Senator Obama's own beliefs -- or, at least, his judgment in associating with Reverend Wright.

After all, it's not like Senator Obama sought out Reverend Wright's church upon moving to Chicago.

Oops... he did.

Well, it's not like Senator Obama thought so highly of him that he gave him a prominent role in his book or anything.

Oh, yeah, he did. He even took the title from one of Wright's sermons.

Then, it's not like he regularly sought Wright's counsel on non-spiritual issues, getting his advice on major temporal matters.

OK, he did that, too.

Fine. But it's not like he made Wright a highly-ranked member of his campaign staff or something.

He did that, too?

I bet these remarks of Wright's are cherry-picked by Obama's enemies, and Wright's church is less than thrilled that he made them in the first place.

You mean that they all come from DVDs that the church itself sells as fundraisers?

I give up. I'm sure there is a way to spin Obama's 20-year relationship with a race-baiting man who calls for God to damn America, is convinced that it's run by the Ku Klux Klan, that the government engineered the AIDS virus to get rid of gays and blacks, and embraces Louis Farrakhan, but I can't find it.

Can someone help me out here?

On a serious note, I have read one theory that explains Obama's ties with Wright, one that fits in with the "identity politics" that is so important to the Democrats. When Obama came to Chicago, he was worried about being seen as "half white" and alienated from the black community. So he found a very popular and prominent member of the black community -- Reverend Wright -- and did all he could (joined the church, had Wright marry him to his wife, baptize their children) to make it clear that he was Wright's friend and ally. Now that the association is actually hurting his career, it's time to jettison the old hate-monger.

Just speculation, but it fits the facts fairly well.


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Comments (42)

Another reason that reveals... (Below threshold)

Another reason that reveals the true character of this miscreant who should not be allowed near reins of power.

Obama uses people to get wh... (Below threshold)

Obama uses people to get what he wants in life. He wanted black political power so he joined the blackest church in Chicago. Nothing wrong with that except that they are a bunch of racists who now may hurt Obama rather than help.

He is nothing but a liberal/socialist panderer who is anything but the Moderate man he tries to portray himself as.

This is the big con ... and its coming unravelled ...

Perhaps we learned more abo... (Below threshold)

Perhaps we learned more about Obama in his reaction, than from Wright. His lies about not realizing what content there was in Wright's speeches is mendacity on the level of a Clinton.

Jay...sorry, can't help ya!... (Below threshold)

Jay...sorry, can't help ya! Too much "suspension of disbelief" would be called for! :)

I'm trying to imagine the book Eva Braun would have written had she survived WWII. "The Warm Loving Adolph Only I Knew"

I'm sure that on her book tour she would "disavowed his controversial statements"

Obama disowns and rejects ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Obama disowns and rejects the inflammatory rhetoric of his Pastor...Jeremiah Wright mainly preaches about the social gospel in his sermons.On the other hand right wing politicians like Giuliani go out of their way to seek the endorsment of well known hate-filled ministers like Pat Robertson (who said he welcomed another 9/11 attack)..John McCain says he is honored and proud to have John Hagee on his website. Rapture-is-Coming/ All-Jews-will-Burn/ Kill-All-Muslims/ Hurricanes-are-Punishment-against-Gays" the Catholic Church is "the Great Whore Church".

McCain even in the midst of this furore about Wright called the nation's capital, Washington D.C. "the city of Satan" on Thursday . Nobody even blinked or noticed.. Right wing conservatives are expected to said these things(as you know) It is not even news or considered disrespectful. But had Obama said that his candidacy would be history...It's a double standard, Jay.

No one is going to object to white fundamentalists saying "Damn America" for the number of gays or liberals in the US (it is the fundamentaist group of ministers are even the present White House encouraged to come and visit and speak openly as often as possible. Never a denoucement by conservatives for these opinions except that they are too mild, but a black minister who says a couple of times "Damn America" for the legacy of the Ku Klux Klan is in the deep goo-goo.

Steve:I know you a... (Below threshold)


I know you are but what am I?

Have any of the poverty pim... (Below threshold)

Have any of the poverty pimps preached from the pulpit for blacks to stop killing each other, to stay in school, to not get pregnant before marriage, to stay away from drugs, guns, and alcohol, etc etc etc?

Didnt think so!

I don't know how Steve's re... (Below threshold)

I don't know how Steve's reasoning got so bent out of shape but methinks its beyond repair.

Its simple, GianiD, OPPRESS... (Below threshold)

Its simple, GianiD, OPPRESSION causes blacks to kill each other leave school get pregnant and do drugs and develop rap songs.

Also causes some people to shoot rockets and mortars at civilians.

Its logic.

Steve, your point was old a... (Below threshold)

Steve, your point was old and tired long ago, but you made it worse by misrepresenting Pat Robertson's statements. And if you think that calling Washington DC "the city of Satan" is the equivalent of Wright's statements, you need to figure out where your commons sense got broken.

If Wright does not like the legacy of the Ku Klux Klan, then why is his protege running for President under the party for which it was the terrorist wing?

Steve Crickmore...WOW! </p... (Below threshold)

Steve Crickmore...WOW!

Clincal psychologists would stand in line to examine you!!!

I re-read your post several times...and remain in awe of the level of stupidity and/or perfidy required to allow ones fingers to type such, well, shit.

Obama sat thru TWENTY YEARS of Wright's hate-mongering. TWENTY YEARS!! This theoretical "man of God" didn't just say (as you posted) "Damn America"...he said "GOD Damn America...it's in the bible!!!" over and over.

and oddly enough, those are some of the MILDER things he has "preached". "AIDS was invented to wipe out people of color"???? "America and alQuida are identical"????

Then there is the POLITICAL SPEECH from PULPIT. Illegal per IRS regs, btw.

And after all this Obama says he NEVER KNEW???

And you dip your spoon in that bowl of shit and pronouce it "tasty"!!!

Some people were scared by ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Some people were scared by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio play.

Obama, himself made Wright ... (Below threshold)

Obama, himself made Wright a big part of his values and even his campaign. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Obama, himself made Wright ... (Below threshold)

Obama, himself made Wright a big part of his values and even his campaign. Live by the sword, die by the sword. This all explains his wife's statements as well.

Steve Cricthmore...Whoever ... (Below threshold)

Steve Cricthmore...Whoever wrote this comment is a fool. You must be. Either that are you are not informed. The statement God Damn America is unfortunately Biblical. All that we promote is against God...Do some homework. Abortion, Prayer taken from School, Racial discord, Gay marriage etc. etc. etc. So the Rev. Wasn't wrong in what he said. Why not look at what ministers like Pastor John Haggee says about this country, or James Dobson founder of focus on the family, or Pastor joyce meyers, or Billy Graham, or Oral and Richard Roberts, or Pastor Tim Lahaye Co-Author of the Left behind book seires. These minister have all condemned America, it's politics, in ways that would make what Jeremiah said look like boohooing in the kindergarten sand box...Study to show yourself approved....don't just type ignorance, white ignorance or black ignorance.... Look at the facts

Ismael 28 yrs old San Francisco CA

Actually Steve, the best wa... (Below threshold)

Actually Steve, the best way to understand the similarities between the Obama/Wright flap and the Republicans would be to revisit the kooky John Birch-style conspiracy theories cooked up by hysterical BDS sufferers to warn America that Chimpy McArmageddon was planning to institute a new theo-Nazi KKKristian Reich -- simply because he has counseled with members of the Christian Coalition and other so-called "religious Right" groups.

Funny isn't it, that the same people who jumped at the chance to smear President Bush with some of the flimsiest religious conspiracy nonsense in recent memory are now spinning like mad and trying to convince everyone the Obamessiah is totally blameless and has been falsely smeared through a nasty "guilt by association" campaign.

The liberal left has succee... (Below threshold)
An American Soldier:

The liberal left has succeeded in doing what George Orwell predicted in the book 1984. (Read it)

Some of you people are so ignorant of the true history of this nation that you simply blurt out propaganda that is spoon fed to you: you are mindless sheep. Pick up a couple of history books that were written before the mass liberal "cleansing" of American history.
This nation was founded at time when the whole world had different moral standards; we at the time were Europeans with their norms and values. Those who founded us risked death for them and their families from the King of England, because they wanted democracy and freedom for all. Who among you have what it takes to risk all for what you believe.

A seed was planted and a nation began to evolve and grow and now this nation has blazed its way in to the modern world setting increasing standards for what is right and wrong. We are not perfect; no nation has ever been nor ever will be. We can only try to reach perfection which is unreachable by mankind. We can't take back what was done in our past, nor can any of us look at that time through the eyes of those who lived in those times. We did not invent slavery; it was around long before the pyramids were built more than 5000 years ago, we did abolish it in our new nation. We did not invent the oppression of women; we did pass in to our laws suffrage. We did not invent racism that has been going on since Babylon; we are trying to end it. This is the greatest nation ever; nevertheless, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; Even mother America, but we can learn from our mistakes

The ways of the far right is anarchy; wild and unchecked, the way of the far left is oppression and control and this nation had its share of both. If we try using reason and fact instead of gut feeling or folly, then maybe we keep our bearing true.

Remember, the only reason you can speak your mind without fear of tyranny is that those before you were will to fight and if need be die for freedom. If you are not willing to do the same then you are a coward.

Words of wisdom:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Written by an American Soldier.

More info on Obama, this is... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

More info on Obama, this is bad! (Follow the link)


If Steve Crickmore wants to complain, he should pick it up with Hillary 's supporters for the real foul personal attack here. Wonder why Steve sticks with the cesspool of the dem party.

Hillary needs to muzzle her attack dogs!

Don't you just know somewhe... (Below threshold)

Don't you just know somewhere down the road theres going to be a commercial with this next to this.

Probably it is time to root... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Probably it is time to root for Obama to beat Hillary to make Obama 's supporters happy.

Yeah, the wheels just keep ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, the wheels just keep flying off the Obama campaign.

The big concern now should be the teeming masses of his fervent cultists wandering around in their trance-like states wondering how it all went so wrong, how the Dream died. At the very least they will constitute a traffic hazard in major cities.

OK, OK, I guess Obama knew!... (Below threshold)

OK, OK, I guess Obama knew! So what? Like Jeff said; "Obama uses people to get what he wants in life. He wanted black political power so he joined the blackest church in Chicago. Nothing wrong with that except that they are a bunch of racists who now may hurt Obama rather than help." Yes, sure, so you all think that politicians should be pure and you hate Democrats. All I have to say is that: Nixen was a paranoid fanatic, Reagan was great at fooling Americans because he knew how to play the role of the President of the USA very well, and Bush junior is a liar and a cheater. So don't try to make out that Republicans are holier.

The issue is not just about... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The issue is not just about "guilt by association." When interviewed by Fox news, Obama said he never heard Wright's hateful words. There's growing evidence that shows that that statement was a lie. Given the bashing Bush has taken for imagined lies, the liberals can't be allowed to sugar coat Obama's intentional lie to the American people.

It appears that TUCC and Ob... (Below threshold)

It appears that TUCC and Obama are victims of the Vast Wright Wing Conspiracy. Shame, that.

Isn't it funny to watch Oba... (Below threshold)

Isn't it funny to watch Obama supporters defend his religiosity after spending 7+ years criticizing Bush for his? Isn't it funny to watch them twist and squirm over associations Democrats have with people of poor character after spending years, nay decades, criticizing Republicans for their own associations? Isn't it funny to watch them march headlong into a tar pit and then try to pretend there's nothing on their shoes by pointing to the shoes of others?

No. It's really not one damn bit funny. I just shake my head in disgust and walk away because you can't argue with people who have redwood logs stuck in their eyes.

Obama denounced his pastor ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Obama denounced his pastor and Farrakhan..Some would say too late...but how many major Republicans have denounced the right wing Fundamentalist pastors? very, very few other than one that I could think of...John McCain in a 2000 speech following his South Carolina loss. He suffered for making that speech and was scorned by the Bushies and the religious right for many years.

But public -- but political intolerance by any political party is neither a Judeo-Christian nor an American value. The political tactics of division and slander are not our values... They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right

Well said by John McCain then in 2000 but he seems to have lapsed. The political consequences, his years as a pariah in the wilderness were too severe. I don't think he will be amking the same speech again soon but it would be nice if he did.

Obama denounced hi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Obama denounced his pastor and Farrakhan..Some would say too late...but how many major Republicans have denounced the right wing Fundamentalist pastors?

That's old news. When interviewed by Fox news, Obama said he never heard Wright's hateful words. There's growing evidence that shows that that statement was a lie.

Obama's intentional lie to the American people is the issue and it's one he can't distance himself from, nor can liberals sugar coat it given the bashing they have dealt Bush for imagined lies.

If Democrats were smart they would cut their loses and nominate Hillary. Otherwise, the general election will be dominated by the YouTube of Obama saying he never heard Wright's hateful words spliced with the NewsMax video showing Obama nodding his head as the hate flows from Wright.

Since BHO represents roughl... (Below threshold)

Since BHO represents roughly 10 million white people in Illinois, I think we need to begin impeachment hearings.

I read a few lefty blogs th... (Below threshold)

I read a few lefty blogs this weekend and they pretty much are all in unison in the talking point departments.

They all seem to agree with Wright and that his rants are true, therefore nothing more to this, just move along and ignore it. And the cherry on top is the argument that Republicans are endorsed by fire breathing preachers too.

All I can say about this sense of reasoning is "good luck with that", since the only people they are convincing are themselves. Every other thinking American can see for themselves what type of influence Obama was under FOR 20 YEARS while those in the pews around him sprung from their seats in agreement with a nut job.

Every thinking American knows in order to make the argument that John McCain's endorsements are on equal par with Wright's is smart enough to know how long and deep these relationships are compared to Obama.

Sorry Obama worshippers, the change and hope from the clean, articulate black man have shown his true colors.

It's over and he can thank his mentor and his fellow America haters leaping in the pews to the words of God damn America.

Oh well, guess you should have checked him out ahead of time like many of us warned.

Better luck next time.

Perhaps the Thought Police ... (Below threshold)
Christopher J. Ward:

Perhaps the Thought Police should be called in to investigate.

Same demolition of the spin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Same demolition of the spins from Obama worshippers. This is on top of Obama 's own actions (not saluting the flag and making a big deal of not wearing a flag pin). BTW, the dems passed a resolution condemning Bob Jones university when Bush spoke there in 2000 and the liberals made a big of "guilt by association". As people pointed out, liberals and hypocrisy seem to go together.

One reason to doubt Obama's sudden displeasure with his pastor's comments is that his wife makes similar ones and he doesn't seem to care. "As a black man Barack can get shot going to the gas station," she said, before more recently commenting that she is finally "proud" of her country. Perhaps before this is all over Obama will enlist that old explanation for male church attendance: my wife made me go

It would be interesting to ... (Below threshold)

It would be interesting to find out more about Wright's views over the last 20 years. I was actually thinking maybe the dems would try to claim that his racist rhetoric has been a recent development.

Let's say that Wright had only just been gradually turning up the racism in the last few years, and that prior to that, he was more "mainstream", and that Obama had sort of been a victim of "frog boiling" (IE, toss a frog into a pot of water and slowly bring it to boil, the frog won't jump out).

If he was really a man of character, at some point, he would have said "enough is enough" - regardless of how long he'd been in the church, and defintely considering his association with Wright.

I have to say though, we owe a debt of graditude to Wright. If he was just a little less "over the top", Obama would have probably pulled this whole sham off...

I have to say though, we ow... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I have to say though, we owe a debt of graditude to Wright. If he was just a little less "over the top", Obama would have probably pulled this whole sham off...
The amazing thing is that Obama people and the Trinity church just cleaned up their websites last weekend. It should have been done when Obama launched his campaign!

More demolition<a ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

More demolition

Today, to be born an American is to win first prize in the lottery of life. One understands why that might not seem obvious to black people of a certain age: Condi Rice, for example, has childhood memories of a segregated south and racial violence. But that's what makes Obama's association with Wright so significant. He's not from Alabama. He's a biracial middle-class Kenyan-Kansan Hawaiian-born Indonesian-raised Columbia and Harvard graduate who chose to immerse himself in the most corrosive and paranoid end of a racial-grievance ghetto mentality that is nothing to do with him, his family or his upbringing. He doesn't have the same excuse as a Jackson, Sharpton or Farrakhan.

The amazing thing is that O... (Below threshold)

The amazing thing is that Obama people and the Trinity church just cleaned up their websites last weekend. It should have been done when Obama launched his campaign!


And THAT is the real story.

They know what they're doing is wrong, and that it won't fly in America, but they're going to try to lie about it by cleaning up their site after the fact. Someone needs to go pull up a cached versions of their site, and publish the delta. Then every time any one of these fakes opens his mouth, make them account for what they've said.

They're cowards and hypocrits - the lot of them. Shame on anybody who stands behind these clowns.

Well, it's been awhile (I h... (Below threshold)

Well, it's been awhile (I had to sleep and then get up and work) and I haven't had a chance to read all the posts, but... OK, he lied. Yes that's more important than who he associated with, but you guys still don't get it--it's not a lie about what he's done or said, it's a lie about who he associated with and weather he really knew and understood what this person stood for. For a smart, mature Democrat the important question is what OBAMA stands for, not what anyone he was associated with stands for. But of course, to anyone who would vote for a president based on his 'family values' and not his stands on issues--someone like that would care very much who a candidate was associated with and what those people stood for. But yes, Ok--he lied.

Adrian's now trying to tell... (Below threshold)

Adrian's now trying to tell us that this is all a hoax.

Nice try, Adrian.

But yes, Ok--he lied... (Below threshold)

But yes, Ok--he lied

Dan, I'm actually not sure he lied. One of his strengths, according to his campaign, is judgement. Or not.

The way you casually agree that he lied, and then continue to defend him is amazing. You complain that there are people who will vote 'family values' and not on Obamas stands on issues, but... OK, he lied.

Liberals should at least ag... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Liberals should at least agree that Obama giving an interview to Fox News shows his lack of experience and poor judgment. Any liberal who would subject themselves to a fair and balanced examination of their opinions needs to have their head examined.

Obama lied in a lame attempt to hide his agreement, acceptance, or at least complacency with the hate and racism Wright mixes in with the Gospel. Obama's willingness to lie to the American people about what he really believes should disqualify him as a candidate for the Presidency.

i was not against obama at ... (Below threshold)

i was not against obama at all until this issue came up. firstly, i have a feeling his wife pressured him into becoming a member of this church. i also think that part of him, probably a big part of him, has liked it because it has given him some "street cred", if you will. in other words, it has made him feel like he is a more authentic "black man" by going there.

those unsubstantiated hunches aside, the things this preacher has said are hilariously unexamined, unenlightened, and basely provocative. i am a caucasian woman, but i spent a lot of time in predominantly african-american environments. the town i grew up in had a big influx of black families when i was a child, and my family was not part of the "white flight" phenomenon. we were one of the few who stayed. so, even though i am white, i literally grew up as a minority in my town and in my schools. this experience taught me many things about so-called racism.... too many to mention here but some that are most pertinent:

1) african-american people can be extremely racist and, depending on the individual's personality, often feel COMPLETELY justified in being so. (this pastor is a perfect example of such a person, and it's really sad the kind of limited thinking he is perpetuating)

2) the sense of "specialness" that is bestowed upon victims of injustice (or perceived descendants of victims of injustice) is very very VERY important to most african-american people. they don't want to give this up and this is a big reason that the so-called "race divide" in america is kept alive. because perceiving yourself as a perpetual and innocent victim is a big part of the african-american mentality and 'identity.'

i could go on and on. anyway. just some things i thought i'd add. this whole thing infuriates me and i really hope obama gets slammed for this association.

Again, This post fr... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

This post from RWN summarizes the utter hypocrisy of the liberal left (Bush& Bob Jones vs Obama&Wright)


Now imagine if Bush hadn't just given a speech, but also...

* Was an active member of the church for 20-years
* Was married by Bob Jones
* Had his children baptized by Bob Jones
* Gave tens-of-thousands to the church
* Titled a book after one of Jones' sermons
* Had regularly listened to Jones' sermons on tape while at grad school
* Had appointed Jones to his campaign
* Claimed Jones as his spiritual mentor

...and then claimed he was "only vaguely aware of Bob Jones University's policies and past"?

I have just two words to answer that; President Gore.

Well, I see that some of ... (Below threshold)

Well, I see that some of you are finally kind-of getting it. A good example is:
"Obama lied in a lame attempt to hide his agreement, acceptance, or at least complacency with the hate and racism Wright mixes in with the Gospel. Obama's willingness to lie to the American people about what he really believes should disqualify him as a candidate for the Presidency."
But quotes like this only prove that the person in question was so sure that no Democratic candidate was worth listening to that he never really bothered to learn anything about Obama. He never really listened to or read what the candidate had to say except in blurbs and other bits taken out of context. For those of you that this applies to--of course you think that Obama's association with Wright proves that Obama is a rabid white-hater and that he only pretends to be a patriot. For those of us who have actually listened to what the man had to say--we know where he stands.






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