Whenever I find myself lacking for something stupid to mock, I turn to the Boston Globe and its stable of columnists. Apart from the token conservative, Jeff Jacoby, they’re a never-ending font of liberal idiocy.
The best, though, has to be Derrick Z. Jackson. And his latest defense of Barack Obama and his association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright is absolutely typical of his denseness.
Listen very carefully, Mr. Jackson: we are not in the least troubled by Obama’s clergy-congregant relationship. Well, maybe a little, but we can get past that. Obama’s running for president, not pope, so I personally don’t care too much about his religious beliefs as long as he isn’t trying to make them the main issue.
No, it’s his relationship with Wright beyond the church that I find so troubling. Obama has publicly praised him on numerous occasions, in the most laudatory terms. He has spoken of seeking his counsel on political matters, including on whether Obama should run for various and sundry offices. He boasted of Wright’s whole-hearted endorsement on his web site. And he named him to a very important and influential post within his campaign.
Of course, those last two have since been undone, once Wright’s more… well, “nutty” beliefs came to the public attention.
(“Paranoid” and “batshit crazy” might be a bit more accurate, but we’ll stay with “nutty.”)
Obama’s defense is that he wasn’t in church when Wright went off his nut. That might technically be true, in a truly Clintonian evasion, but that leaves unanswered if he didn’t hear them on recordings of the sermons he bought and took to DC, or if Wright had brought them up in other settings besides Sunday mornings at the church, or if he even heard about it from some of his fellow congregants.
Personally, I don’t think that Obama shares Wright’s more wacky convictions. But that Obama would personally associate himself with the guy for so long, in so many ways apart from their church (which was the biggest recipient of Obama’s charitable donations over the years), calls into question his judgment — which he touts as his most important qualification for the presidency. (Lord knows it isn’t executive experience — or any other sort of experience. Or accomplishments.)
Obama, as I’ve said before, neeeds more seasoning. I’d like to see him leave the Senate and spend a few years in the Dreaded Private Sector, learning a bit of how the real world works and seeing the consequences of his policy decisions. Let him try making a payroll, living up to federal regulations and policies, paying taxes, and the like. Then, once he’s seen what it’s like living off the sweat of his brow and not on the public largesse, he might make a decent president.
But that ain’t gonna happen. To the best of my knowledge, out of this last batch of presidential candidates, only Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson had really had great successes in the private sector, fully separate from their political ambitions — and they were sent packing by the voters. It seems the American people are bound and determined to elect a career public servant (or, in one case, the spouse of one, a spouse whose own private sector experience was intimately entwined with her husband’s various and sundry public offices).
Maybe it won’t be so bad after all.
But I ain’t holding my breath.