One can understand the political needs that Barack Obama faces as he runs for the Democratic Party nomination, while at the same time understanding the desire of Reverend Wright to publicly defend himself. The right-wing use of Wright’s comments, often out of context, is not a new tactic for the GOP. Contortions and confusion is a game plan they use often. Sadly it works.
As CNN reports Obama made it clear today that he was “outraged” with Reverend Wright over comments made in the past couple of days.
“I have been a member of Trinity Church since 1992. I have known Rev. Wright for almost 20 years,” he said at a news conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “The person I saw yesterday is not the person I met 20 years ago.”
What particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing,” Obama said, adding that Wright had shown “little regard for me” and seemed more concerned with “taking center stage.”
I cannot prevent him from making these remarks,” but “when I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it. It contradicts what I’m about and who I am. … It is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country.”
In a break with previous comments, Obama focused his criticism on Wright the man, and not simply his remarks.
Obama had at the center of his campaign the idea that the old ways of ‘doing’ politics was not in the best interest of the national needs. Many agreed and cheered him on. More importantly they voted in large numbers for him. When confronted with the Wright matter I had hoped that Obama would speak to the larger themes of not allowing the conservative’s rant on Wright, which was amplified by the media, to deflect from the larger issues, and thereby drive the race for the White House. By denouncing his pastor in the fashion that he did, Obama gave in to the basic premise that the conservatives had laid out when they started their constant barrage of Wright. The GOP playbook worked again. And the public gets the shaft.
What Obama should have done is attack this style of campaigning by the Republicans. These types of political attacks on Barack Obama about his pastor are aimed at playing politics with the lowest common denominators. Again. Will the Wright matter effect the price of gasoline or improve health care coverage for working Americans?
The GOP has a bloody war on their hands and an economy that has soured into a recession. So they needed to have a diversion that affects the strongest person who could kick their ass in November.