Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All About Obama

Sorry to my regular readers for the lack of regular updates this week- I've been busy and a bit under the weather. But I just wanted to take the time to agree with Reason's Jesse Walker on the Barack Obama-Reverend Wright scandal. As Walker says, this whole "scandal" has him liking Obama even more.

Now we have the Jeremiah Wright "scandal," which frankly makes me like Obama more. If you don't have a friend -- a real friend, someone who means something to you and sometimes influences your decisions -- who occasionally expresses a nutty opinion ("The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color") or an impolitic truth ("a country and a culture controlled by rich white people"), then you really, really need to get out more. Obama's connection to Wright is like his cigarette habit, his willingness to talk about his past drug use, his fondness for gritty TV shows -- it's a sign that there's an actual human being in that suit after all, no matter how empty it may seem when he's blathering about "an insistence on small miracles" and the like. It's a sign he might know a thing or two about the real America after all.

Swear to God I was thinking the same thing the other day. It's interesting that some of the Reason commenters are so offended. Some compare Walker's support of Obama to the Ron Paul newsletter scandal, wondering why Reason editors were so unforgiving of Paul but are now nonchalant about Obama's preacher. To respond to those questions, the situations just aren't the same. In Paul's case we were talking about newsletters published in his name- In Obama we're talking about the words of his reverend. You should have to answer for your own craziness in politics, but there's a certain lack of reality in having to respond to the craziness of people you know.

Other commenters dredge up the ghosts of Rush Limabugh's infamous Donovan McNabb comments and the Don Imus incident, missing the point that there's a difference between your own words and the words of another. As for the fact that Reverend Wright is Obama's religious and spiritual leader, I'd avoid passing judgment on one sound bite. As Walker basically said, it's nice to see some reality in this artificial world of politics.


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