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Snippets? Associations? Who is Barack Obama?

Posted: October 23, 2008 8:15 p.m.
Updated: December 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Have you noticed that whenever Obama's pastor, wife, terrorist friends, corrupt cronies or other assorted glimpses into his personal life are mentioned, Obama tries to change the subject by suggesting that these references are distractions or snippets and/or efforts to tarnish his otherwise impeccable character with gestures of "guilt by association"?

So let's take a closer look at the significance of these references to Obama's past. First, let's examine his "distraction" argument.

Distractions from what? one wonders. Distractions from trying to find out who the real Obama is? And isn't that what an election is all about: Trying to figure out whom you are voting for?

Obama wants to focus on the "what," the issues. And I fully agree; the issues are important - but not nearly as important as the person who will address those issues.

First, who cares about the issues if the person who will deal with them is not possessed of the requisite character and/or competence. For example, Mussolini was right on the issues; he just happened to be a reprehensible character. No, I want to know who I am voting for.

Why? Because if I can't believe the candidate, don't trust him, or don't find him qualified, how can I possibly believe that he can adequately address the issues to which he wishes to direct our attention.

His "snippets" argument is really amusing. You'll recall that he raised it in connection with his pastor's statements (after first telling us that he never heard any of those or similar statements on those occasions when he was in attendance at the church, leading the unsuspecting or incredulous to believe that the good pastor only issued such statements when Obama was absent from church).

When the "attendance" lie didn't wash, Obama sought to minimize the damage of these ugly utterances by suggesting that 1. we didn't understand the "black" experience that gave these utterances meaning, 2. that they were taken out of context, and, finally 3. they were insignificant pieces of a much larger whole, i.e., they were snippets.

Snippets that his opposition and the media played over and over again to dramatize their effect, while distorting their relevance by taking them out of context.

And then, lo and behold, the good Pastor Wright - who, from Obama's point of view, might more appropriately be labeled Pastor Wrong - came out of his church to address an NAACP annual meeting in Detroit (to thousands of enthusiastic attendees) and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., followed by an absurdly soft-ball interview by Bill Moyer (NPR's Marxist in residence).

And guess what? It turns out that the "snippet" is who Pastor Wright is, i.e., it is the totality of the man; it is his only context - a racist whack job.

And in doing so, he suggested that the different construction being placed on remarks by him and Obama was due to the fact that he is a pastor and Obama is a politician.

Implicit in this construction was that Obama was merely acting as a typical politician, i.e., in a manner that was politically expedient.

Wait a minute. I thought that Obama was the new savior, a man above the political fray. Apparently, I was wrong.

This was the final straw; Wright's truth having been revealed, Obama feigned disgust and tendered his resignation from the Trinity Church. Now let me ask you, who repeatedly changed his story here, Obama or Wright?

Clearly Obama, on any number of occasions. Wright was Wright on each and every occasion - a race-hustling bigot, but one who made no bones about it.

We are constantly reminded that Obama is an intelligent man, a Harvard man, yet he would like us to believe that he had no clue as to the real nature of Pastor Wright - he sat in the man's church for 20 years, had to have read the church's hate-filled monthly magazine, was aware that the church had designated Louis Farrakhan its man of the year, must have heard his wife's angry statements (which reflected Wright's views), and, through it all, he had no clue as to the true nature of the Black Liberation Church.

Do you believe that? Only a true believer could buy into this absurd rendition of events!

And, should you get over the "distraction" and "snippet" hurdles, you are then instructed that Obama is not to be damaged by the views of "associates" as intimate as his pastor of 20 years. This would be guilt by association.

Hold on. Do those whom we intimately associate with say something about us? Of course they do!

To put the lie to the association argument, Obama conjures up notions of moral equivalence, a typically flawed left-wing reaction to almost any criticism.

That is, a couple of pastors - James Hagee and Rod Parsley - who have made inappropriate statements in the course of ministering to their respective flocks, have endorsed McCain. And Obama has stated that he doesn't believe McCain holds those views.

Isn't that the same as his stituation with Pastor Wright? No, of course not!

There is all the difference in the world between who endorses Obama, and whom Obama endorses.

McCain did not sit in the churches of these gentlemen; they were not his pastors, ministers or spiritual advisers. Indeed, there is no indication that he had any personal relationship whatsoever with these gentlemen.

In short, he did not endorse them or in any other manner "associate" with them, as Obama did with Wright.

The bottom line? Wright is Obama, and Obama is Wright.

Ken Eliasberg is a former resident of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" appears Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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