Much to the chagrin of Obama supporters, as well as to the scorn of most normal people everywhere, Reverend Wright seems to be on some kind of speaking tour. It must be Christmas for the GOP because this is the gift that keeps on giving.
When asked by a smirking Donna Lienwand, VP of the National Press Club, about his now famous post 9/11 sermon, he tried to explain that he was taken out of context. The "chickens coming home to roost" comment, he said, was quoting the Iraqi Ambassador, as if that made repeating it in a religious fervor following the 9/11 attacks okay. He then said:
…to quote the Bible, 'Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever you sow that you shall also reap'. Jesus says do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic principles.
Not quite backing away from his post 9/11 sermon, is it?
Asked whether he was unpatriotic, a question that for some reason, seemed to elicit giggles from the NPC audience, he suggested the accusation was unfair and that those who thought that only listened to sound bytes. He then cited his military service as compared to Vice President Cheney.
Asked, "What is your relationship with Louis Farrakhan. Do you agree with and respect his views, including his most racially divided views?"
His meandering response started by trying to parse the difference between Zionism and Judaism:
Where Louis said twenty years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, is a gutter religion, he was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter is being vilified for, and Bishop Tutu is being vilified for, and everybody wants to paint me as if I am anti semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said twenty years ago.
There are multiple layers of offense associated with this comment alone. Zionism is the belief that Jews should return to their ancient homeland of Israel. To suggest that the desire for a Jewish Israel equates to some separate religion, not to mention a "gutter religion," is highly offensive, especially considering the environment during which the creation of the state of Israel occurred.
To say that Zionism is a "gutter religion" is to say that Judaism itself is a gutter religion. While some Jews may have different views regarding the policies of the state of Israel, none would support such inflammatory comments. There is no theoretical argument about the state of Israel anymore. Jews live there now. The fact is that anyone who is against the state of Israel is against the Jews that live there, as well as Jews everywhere. Any anyone who would share or defend the view that this belief, Zionism, is a gutter religion, is anti-semitic. (Notice the period.)
On the one hand, Wright justifies Farrakhan's comments by saying that the U.N., Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu all agree with Farrakhan. But then Wright makes the case that the he (Wright) shouldn't be held accountable for comments Farrakhan made twenty years ago. So are the comments valid or out of date? It can't be both. But let's take a closer look at the justification anyway. Jimmy Carter's recent trip to the Middle East to meet with various terrorist leaders confirms for many a long history of anti-Jewish sentiment. The U.N. has spent more time villifying Israel in the past two years than taking action in Darfur. To hoist Jimmy Carter and the U.N. as proof of some kind of moral compass or justification is laughable.
Wright goes on to say, "Louis and I don't agree on everything…" but then described Farrakhan as "one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century, thats what I think about him."
Wright saved his best comments for last:
When Louis Farrakhan speaks, it's like E.F. Hutton speaks, all Black America listens. Whether they agree with him or not, they listen. Now I'm not going to put down Louis Farrakhan any more than Mandela would put down Fidel Castro…" [quoting Mandela from an interview with Ted Koppel when Mandela was asked about the Cuban dictator] "'You don't tell me who my friends are, you don't tell me who my enemies are.' Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy, he did not put me in chains, he did not put me in slavery and he didn't make me this color.
I guess that means that Wright doesn't like the color of his skin? I'm not going to touch that one, but the audience seemed to love it.
Following another question from the ever more smirking Ms. Lienwand (who at this point had an even bigger smirk – I interpreted each smirk as approval), regarding Obama's response to the Wright issue:
Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on the polls. Preachers have a different person to whom they are accountable. I do what pastors do. He does what politicians do.
We've heard him use this "words are meaningless" tactic before. But those of us who have watched Obama's speeches with a critical eye already know this. Wright ended with this gem: "I am not running for office, I am open to being Vice President."
Scary, but the crowd cheered wildly. I was watching all of this on CNN. Anchor Tony Harris closed the segment by saying that "Wright had given a speech yesterday to a crowd of 10,000 and received a standing ovation."
These comments were made TODAY. I feel like that kid from Sixth Sense — I see crazy people, and they're running for president.Powered by Sidelines