Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's Next?

Just a quick rant about the latest Senator Obama news. On Tuesday every show on NPR was full of news that Senator Obama is now denouncing Reverend Wright, with whom he formerly disagreed but couldn’t part because he had been a good friend and mentor for 20 years. He claims he’s denouncing him because he “is not the same man I met 20 years ago”. What did the Reverend do to deserve this? Did he share new, more offensive opinions? Actually, no. All he did was spend the past few days re-stating the same illogical and hateful views, including that the US government created AIDS and that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is the equivalent of Apartheid. But somehow – clearly because public opinion demanded it – Senator Obama now claims that he’s so horrified that he has to denounce him.

There are two problems with this. First, I can’t believe that someone who listens to hateful speech for 20 years doesn’t pick up some of it, even if he claims he disagrees. There’s a reason the UK has one of the highest rates of anti-Israel sentiment, and I lay the blame firmly at their skewed public media source, the venerable BBC. Similarly, if all the churchgoers at Trinity United heard absurdities every day, some of it will stick – and I’m concerned about a president who subconsciously believes these things.

Second, and almost more important, is what the media will find out next about Senator Obama. Throughout this campaign, few have looked beyond his charisma, and this is the first piece of dangerous information to come out about him. Both Senators McCain and Clinton have been in the public eye for long enough that it’s unlikely we’ll find out anything serious and new about them. But if Senator Obama wins the Democratic nomination, what additional dirty laundry will be aired between now and November? And will it be ugly enough to make him lose the election? I’m not a huge fan of the Senator, but I still think four more years of Republican rule would be much worse for the country, and possibly the world.

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