Wright out

John McCain has instructed his campaign that Barack Obama’s pastor of 20 years and general all-around nutburger Rev. Jeremiah Wright is not to be a campaign issue, contrary to the advice of his aides.

The Wall Street Journal is guessing this veto arises from fears of being labeled racist.  Allahpundit says there’s not much point to giving Obama a pass on Wright when McCain is already hitting him on his associations with William Ayers and ACORN; might as well go whole hog.

I’m not sure either analysis is right. 

My own take (and an UPDATE) below the break.

As far as fear of the racism brand is concerned, I doubt there is anyone on McCain’s staff who is fooling themselves into thinking they can escape accusations of racism in any case, whether they mention Wright’s name or not, at least not after the ridiculous flights of fancy coming from the tinfoil-hat salons of the press recently.

Nor do I think there’s a disconnect in ignoring Wright in favor of Ayers and ACORN.  To put it bluntly, as a campaign issue Wright is played out.  Unless he makes another appearance before Election Day in which he (inevitably) would embarrass Obama again, I think Hillary and McCain both squeezed as much mileage out of him as they could.  The only way they could employ Wright as a talking point would be as a small part of a larger, general challenge to Obama over his poor decisions on the company he keeps, as the conservative judicial-appointments issue group Judicial Confirmation Network did in an issue ad released at the end of last month.

No, I think McCain is making a wise decision in ignoring Rev. Wright for greener pastures.  Unless Wright himself comes up with new material, he’s a dry well.

UPDATE:  Jonathan Martin at Politico’s got my back:

This publication and others have been vigilant for any signs of Republicans using Obama’s race against him. But let’s be candid — McCain has done no such thing, nor is there any evidence that he’s instructed GOP allies to go there.

He’s now in a no-win position. His supporters want him to use Wright against Obama, seeing it as the closest thing they have to a silver bullet in a difficult race. But, as messages like the above prove, he is already being accused of racism without ever mentioning the controversial pastor. One can only imagine the accusations that would rain down upon McCain should he extend his indictment of Obama’s judgment to the Democrat’s decision to sit in Wright’s pews. 

Never mind, incidentally, that Obama himself has called Wright fair game and that Hillary Clinton questioned Obama’s decision to attend Trinity during the Democratic primary.

5 thoughts on “Wright out

  1. Charles Lofton


    I agree with you that the Rev. Wright stuff is played out. I disagree with you you calling him a nutburger.

    I think Rev. Wright was on point with his comments and all one would have to do is look at what’s going on in the world today to see it. Look where our greed has gotten us. Look at where our bully tatics around the world has gotten us. This list can go on but I’ll stop it here.

    Do you really think that God is pleased with us as a nation?

  2. angelic1

    you may be right. but it’s also that sarah’s church associations would not withstand similar scrutiny: between them talking in tongues, and “laying hands” on to heal, and sarah claiming that the witch doctor preacher helped her win the governor’s race, there’s just too much there for them to bring up religious affiliations, and mccain knows this. especially since he too has had jerry falwell and hagee as advisors.

  3. Charlie Post author

    @Charles Lofton:

    OK, the “nutburger” comment was a little glib, I’ll give you that. My only defense is that I can only hang my head in exasperation whenever the subject of Wright comes up, and I have to shake off the negativity somehow. Glibness helps me on that score. So, guilty as charged.

    That said, with all due respect, you’d have to do some major-league cherry-picking to consider Wright a source of wisdom on world affairs. A staggering degree of hatred, conspiracy-mongering, and twisting of the Christian faith to portray white people as enemies of God so suffuses Rev. Wright’s sermonizing oeuvre, it is well-nigh impossible to find any salvageable needles in that noxious haystack.

    As for whether God is pleased with us, that’s not for me to know or say, but I promise I will ask Him when I see Him.

    (Yes, I know, pardon the glibness once again, but I haven’t got much to say with regard to the judgment of God; He doesn’t normally confide in me.)

  4. Charlie Post author


    There’s a very important difference in degree of proximity.

    Not only had Sen. Obama attended Trinity UCC under Wright for 20 years, married his wife there, and baptized and brought up his kids there, but Wright was actually working in a hired position on the Obama campaign’s spiritual outreach committee as late as last spring.

    Gov. Palin had been drifting away from the Wasilla Assembly of God church for years precisely because they were getting just too weird for her, and unlike Obama, she left the church long before it ever could have become politically inconvenient. She has said herself that she doesn’t belong to any church, and doesn’t consider herself Pentecostal.

    As for Palin claiming the “witch doctor preacher helped her win the governor’s race,” I’ve searched in earnest on the Web for mention of such a claim, including Snopes, and I’ve come up empty. You sure you’re not the victim of a rumor?

    As for McCain, he was one of the late Jerry Falwell’s worst enemies until only recently, and they’ve never been more than cordial (calling Falwell an “agent of intolerance” may well have sunk his 2000 bid).

    John Hagee is also a stretch; unlike the case with Obama and Wright, McCain had heard of Hagee only fleetingly before the latter offered his endorsement, and it was accepted on the basis of the minister’s vocal support for Israel. Hagee’s vile anti-Catholic streak was immediately disavowed once it was made clear to McCain, and (again, unlike Obama and Wright) Hagee withdrew his endorsement with no hard feelings. That is, he could see that he was the problem, not McCain.

    In any case, neither Falwell nor Hagee were “advisors” to McCain, despite your description. The former and McCain hated each other on bad days, and tolerated each other on good ones; the latter was an acquaintance at best, a brief and short-sighted mistake at worst.

  5. Charles

    @ Charlie

    “staggering degree of hatred”

    Where? I have heard several of Wright’s sermons over the years and I have never once heard hatred toward anyone.


    Is this refering to the AIDS comment? If so, I can go with you on that, to a certain extent. This is the thing that can not be proven (kind of like who really shot JFK) out of all of the excerts that the media decided to blast Rev. Wright about. That’s where our “ride of ageement” ends. I have seen documentaries that shows the govenrments roll in the invention of AIDS and there is a book called Medical Apartheid that documents the govements roll in several programs that used black americans as subject. The most famous being the Tuskegee Experiment. So it’s that much of a strecth for me to the believe that the goverment is capable of such a terrible thing.

    “twisting of the Christian faith to portray white people as enemies of God”

    White people (as a whole) aren’t the enemy. It’s the power structure and greed that run this country. Oppersors are the enemy of God. It just so happens the system of opression that we live under and have lived under since the formation of this country is run by white people.

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