I was watching Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan on Tim Russert's show this morning. They were talking about Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Again.
I think Tim Russert is a tool. I usually get a kick out of Hitchens and Sullivan. I agree with some of what both have to say and disagree with plenty, too. They may not be the two smartest men in the whole world, but they are far more intelligent and interesting than your standard weekend talk show guests.
Compared to the likes of James Carville and Pat Buchanon, Hitchens and Sullivan are punditry gods.
They were talking. I was listening. A haze slowly fell over me. I heard every word of their back-and-forth, but I wasn't processing it. It wasn't too complicated. It wasn't too deep. It was, however, too boring. And too stupid.
A moment of clarity. This is really, really dumb. The Jeremiah Wright/Barack Obama controversy is foolish.
Many, including me, get lost in the minutiae. We obsess over the details. We analyze every dynamic from all directions. We debate, discuss, support, mock and obsess over things that warrant far less attention than we provide.
So it is with Jeremiah Wright.
Reverend Wright says some really offensive things. He appears to hold some very stupid beliefs. He has a big bad side. He has a big good side, too. He is what he is. He's a nutjob and a good guy all wrapped up into one obviously-flawed and politically dangerous package. So be it. Barack Obama has said the same thing about Jerry W., with a little more care and eloquence.
Pastorgate is really a very simple matter. One sentence:
Barack Obama has a friend and church pastor who happens to have said a lot of really crazy shit.
There's no evidence to suggest that Obama believes Wright's crazy positions. There's no reason to think the Senator prays for God to damn our nation every night before beddy-bye time. Barry had a nutjob standing behind the podium of his church. This is not the end of the world. This is just something that happens.
Obama rejected the weirdness and said that he recognized the preaching freakshow's good side. That's more than you'd expect from a candidate. Most would go apeshit attacking the preacher, feigning horror and disgust. Obama didn't sell Wright out, even though he leveled criticism.
Democrats who love The Monster seem to really appreciate the notion of loyalty. Bill Richardson became Judas Iscariot, selling out the Jesus of Bill or Hillary right before Easter, according to James Carville.
Richardson, we were told, was a piece of shit because he didn't display enough loyalty to a pair of very flawed human beings. The "betrayal" was enough to induce finger-wagging from the former President and a bit of red-facedness.
Loyalty is good for those who back Clinton, it's "questionable" when actually displayed by Obama. Go figure.
This is getting off track, though. See? It's easy to get lost in the minor squabbles.
Minor squabbles like Jeremiah Wright. Big news? Sure. Plenty of headlines. In the end, though, it's a porn scene without a money shot.
Obama doesn't plot with Wright. The two don't share a brain. And, it's really just about a guy who has a crazy friend prone to bouts of stupidity.
Eventually, I think most reasonable people will finally see and hear enough of the Wright stuff. They'll have moments of clarity. They'll finally stop listening to those who would continue to force this into being a real story. They'll shrug. They'll think. Out of the fog with a smile.
What difference does this really make?
And that will be the end of it.
Here we are wrapping up a nomination process and the Worst Thing to Happen to the eventual victor is that he has a pain in the ass friend. Not too shabby.
Perspective is a good thing. It's too bad it's often easy to lose.
Just a quick shout out to Monster fans (aka fans of The Lost Cause) and those who prefer John McCain to Barry O... If you want to have an argument... If you want to duke it out... If you want to prove your guy/gal/creature is a better choice than Barack, I'd recommend focusing your efforts on something more meaningful than how nutty some third party happens to be.
Just an idea.
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