Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Throwing Stones In Glass Churches

Over at Booman Tribune there's a timely post up reiterating a bit of what Barbara Ehrenreich recently reported about Hillary Clinton's link to the secretive Family religious organization in Washington (mentioned briefly here, with a link to nash's site and post about the subject) in the context of her publicly castigating Barack Obama for not leaving his church in the wake of what she calls Rev. Wright's "hate speech." In light of this ongoing flap, you have to wonder what the public will make of Hillary's religious connections when Jeff Sharlet's book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of America's Power is published in May.

Here's just a bit of what BooMan has to say:

But Barack Obama has not made Clinton's kooky right-wing church into an issue on the campaign trail because he understands that a person's faith is an intensely personal and (hopefully) non-political affair.

Clinton's decision to question Obama's choice of church is a bigger problem than her personal tastelessness. Her decision is an arrow aimed directly at the heart of the black community. It is one of the worst acts of public betrayal I have ever seen committed by a Democratic politician in my lifetime, and the most shortsighted and toxic decision I can recall.

White Americans may be surprised by their introduction to the style of black sermonizing in the figure of Rev. Wright, but the black community sees nothing particularly out of place in his rhetoric. This may or may not be a political vulnerability in the general election, but a far greater vulnerability is opened up by telling the black church-going community that Rev. Wright is the equivalent of Don Imus and his 'nappy-headed hos'. The suggestion that Rev. Wright was engaged in 'hate speech' of a kind so loathsome as to require leaving his church is deeply offensive. The black community is feeling besieged by the national spotlight on Rev. Wright and the ensuing white backlash. They are looking around for allies, and find Hillary Clinton piling on and throwing them under the bus.

The more I see of Clinton's scorched-earth tactics and handing campaign issues to the Republicans, the more I want to support Obama.
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