Now that Reverend Wright has spoken thrice at length, and answered questions at length, we have learned much about what he thinks, how he thinks, and how fond he is of himself. There was nothing American, or post racial, or post ideological, about any of this. On the one hand, this may be an intelligent man, a well educated man, even a deeply religious man. On the other hand, he sounds like an idiot, a fool, even a fraud.
We can speculate about why this man did what he did, and why he did it now. But that would be speculation based on effect. The effect is to destroy Obama’s presidential campaign. It is now certain that Hillary Clinton will become the Democratic nominee for president. The door has opened through which the superdelegates can walk--never mind Indiana voters--in good conscience not only arguing that Obama is not electable, but arguing that he shouldn’t be elected because the twenty year association is too tight, too revealing. Wright is no Martin Luther King, Jr. challenging us to live up to our standards, calling us to be our better selves.
Obama could make another race speech in which he will denounce both Wright and his words altogether. Behind him and with him he he should place every serious person he can, especially black thinkers and preachers, all of whom would be willing and able to speak on behalf of the abstract principle that is the American cause and appeal to the better angels of our nature. If he cannot do this--with pith and eloquence, even some justifiable anger against the egoistic Wright--he is finished.