4 thoughts on “United Church of Feist

  1. jmaustin says:

    The flocking has begun…Wolf Biltzer just highlighted the same clip on The Situation Room.

    As a question of viral pathology, how did the clip come to your attention?

    – Austin

  2. You see all of those people rooting for this fella? He might not be “politically safe” to be associated with, but try this on for size:

    Maybe, just maybe, winning is less important than believing in something. Maybe Barack believes a lot of what this Wright guy is preaching – that black people in America have had to deal with some messed up shit (that sentiment is hereby nominated for Understatement of the Year) – and in many ways, they still do.

    Yes, I’m being idealistic. Yes, I’m also being a bit of a devil’s advocate. And yes, I’m really only speaking from the perspective of having just watched this one clip. But what’s truly bad about being pissed off like this? I don’t mean “gonna cost somebody votes” bad; I mean in the deepest, most meaningful sense – is this really so bad?

    (One other point: Hillary pretty much has had “her people” – women – defined as non-persons, despite Rev. Wright’s claims to the contrary. Maybe not quite in the same way, but anyone who says women weren’t oppressed for many, many years is blowin’ smoke.)

  3. jloveland says:

    Jon, I saw the clip on the political news aggregator realclearpolitics.com.

    I would guess this will be a long, slow burn: a) a 1-3 day discussion item in the mainstream news; b) long-term blog grist; c) viral email fodder for shadowy individuals and d) the subject of direct mail or maybe even broadcast ads for 527 groups just before election days. I doubt the Clintons will touch it, in part because they don’t have to.

    The danger here is not the theme “African-Americans have been screwed over.” The danger is the tone. Angry, mocking, and flippantly delivered broadsides against the people who happen to make up a big segment of swing voters. The scene is culturally a million miles away from most people’s church, so that will create more of a cultural divide between Obama and other American church members and non-members.

    There will definitely be a race element to the concern, but a clip like this with a similarly toned and themed white minister from McCain’s church also would be damaging for the same reasons. Americans like their President’s to be religious, but generically religious.

    Obama says this guy is like the Uncle who sometimes says crazy things you disagree with. I’m not sure that response works, because people understand you don’t choose your uncle but you do proactively choose your church and minister. The fact that he chose someone this radical will cause people to wonder if Obama is more radical at the core than he first appears.

    If Obama feels his minister is more angry, over-the-top and outrageous than he is, he needs to say so matter-of-factly (not defensively), and explain what parts of the church does and doesn’t appeal to him. Most of us have examples of things our minister has said that we disagree with, and he should candidly share a few of those things.

    On the positive side, after these clips gets shoved down people’s throats, there may be fewer people who think he is Muslim. But I’m not sure this sells to swing voters appreciably better.

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