Thursday, May 1, 2008

Weasel words from Obama

Re: Jeremiah Wright:

"His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church," Mr. Obama said, his voice welling with anger. "They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs."

Divisive, destructive, and the succeeding clause all refer to the effects of what he said, not its contents. I don't think he shares Wright's beliefs, but he needs to say that they are wrong and/or stupid. He wants to sound like he's condemning them, but if you read closely, you'll realize he's not.


"I'm outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday," Mr. Obama said. He added: "I find these comments appalling. It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am."

The strongest thing he says is that he's appalled, but that's a reaction, not a judgment.

And then:

"Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this," Mr. Obama said Tuesday. "I don't think that he showed much concern for me. More importantly, I don't think he showed much concern for what we're trying to do in this campaign and what we're trying to do for the American people."

In other words, whether he's wrong doesn't matter; the problem is that unwilling to shut up for the greater good. That's hardly inspiring.

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