29 April 2008

Rev. Wright: Obama's Last Word

The New York Times has a transcript of Sen. Obama's press conference, in which he throws Rev. Wright under the bus. He hit all the notes that any critic would want to hear, denouncing Wright's views on AIDS, for instance, as "ridiculous," -- as they most likely are. I'm disappointed, though, to hear Obama echo the general line that Wright is on an ego trip, and I'm also a little disturbed at the narcissism that surfaces in the Senator's complaint about Wright's remarks not helping him. As I wrote last night, if we dismiss every would-be prophet, even those who are right, as attention-seeking ego-trippers, we surrender our best chance of change happening through words and deliberation alone. If anyone thinks we can have a real debate about our nation's future without someone's feelings being hurt, or without false charges at least getting a hearing as part of the process, you're naively overconfident about the problems we face. Reconciliation can only come after the great decisions are made, because then people will have to reconcile themselves to losing, and there's likely to be a lot of bitterness and recrimination before then, not to mention a little bit afterwards. Rev. Wright, at least, will be around to assure that.

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