I’m getting very tired of talking about the good Reverend Wright but nobody else seems able to drop the topic, so I don’t see why I should.
So: I was not at all impressed by Obama’s “divorce” of Wright. I found it entirely unpersuasive. I don’t think he should claim not to have known how radical Wright was, nor do I think he should have said that Wright had changed. He had one legitimate line to take: Wright has no right to say that he knows Obama doesn’t really mean it when he says he disagrees with him. Obama should have called him on that – and called him on it in extremely strong terms, telling him how offended he is that he (Wright) thinks he has privileged access to his (Obama’s) mind or heart. The secret things belong to the Lord, Reverend, not to you. And that’s it.
Obama’s new line – that Wright has changed, or that Obama had no idea he was this radical before – is unpersuasive on its face. And it leaves Obama no way to talk intelligently about his relationship with Wright, with Trinity, and with his own biography, which is at the core of his campaign. How should he have talked about these things? Well, on the assumption that this is an accurate summary of why Obama joined Trinity in the first place (and I’m inclined to believe it is), I don’t think it’s hard to see how he should have talked about it. But it’s too late now, I’m afraid.
I expected more of Obama, morally and strategically. This is not the end of Reverend Wright. He’s mad now. He’s going to try to get even. And I’m not sure Obama’s left himself anything to fall back on but hope.