The Reverend Wright's Sabotage

Has the Rev. Jeremiah Wright been trying to sabotage Barack Obama's presidential candidacy? I'm inclined to think so. That's not original thinking on my part: Steve Sailer advanced the idea in a posting way back on January 15 (definitely read the whole thing). Sailer notes that Wright's foundation gave its award to Louis Farrakhan in November 2007, long after Obama began his presidential campaign. Unless Wright is a complete idiot (which he obviously isn't), he had to realize that Farrakhan was political poison. It's not like he couldn't have thought of other people to honor. Sailer's concluding paragraph:

I bet that Wright doesn't want Obama to win--that would disprove his whole world view that whites will never give a black man an even break. He wants Obama to go down in flames to prove he was right, and he wants to be the torch. Just as the conventional wisdom has become that white racism cost Michael Dukakis the Presidency in 1988 over Willie Horton, he wants to go down in history in conjunction with the next myth--that white racism cost Obama the Presidency or Vice-Presidency over Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.

It reminds me of an evening at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta in July 1988. After each night's session I would hang out, gin and tonic in hand, with other journalists and Dukakis campaign aides in the front of the lobby/atrium at the downtown Hyatt Regency, the original atrium hotel. I'd give the Dukakis people a letter grade for their performance each evening. On the night Jesse Jackson spoke, I gave them a D. They objected: Jackson had endorsed Dukakis; he hadn't said anything really incendiary; his family was attractive, etc. All true, I said, but it was still an evening that was wholly dominated by Jesse Jackson, a negative figure for most American voters. You did as well as you could have. The highest grade you could have gotten was a D.

On the same theory, you could give Obama a D for his handling of the Wright controversy. Not because he didn't handle it as well as he could have but because the best grade he could possibly get was a D.

By Michael Barone