Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obama: 'Change We Can Believe In Starts with Church'

From the New York Times:

Obama Quits His Church

By Jeff Zeleny

WASHINGTON – Senator Barack Obama is ending his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation he has belonged to for about two decades and one that had become a lightning rod in his Democratic presidential bid.

Really, now, what else could Senator Obama do? He joined this church, I believe, because he wanted to punch his south Chicago ticket as proof he was a down black politician.

If only the steps he'd learned to dance along with Chicago's radical politico-clerico machine were the same he'd need to take to be a serious national figure, a unifier, and a credible presidential candidate. But, to paraphrase one of Barack's three spiritual advisors, Fr. Pfleger, Obama is telling himself:

"I’m BLACK. And this is mine. And I jus’ gotta get up. And step into the plate. And then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Father Pfleger!’ And he said: ‘Oh, damn!’ WHERE DID YOU COME FROM!?!?!"

Fr. Pfleger came from the same place Reverend Wright came from, and Louis Farrakhan, and Bill Ayers, and the rest. They came straight from the grab-basket of Obama's political past, each one of them lovingly selected for what they could do to help a slick, handsome, trans-racial Harvard grad get on the fast track to Destiny, with a starting place in south side Chicago.

But what works in city politics for trading off votes, graft, youth centers, and getting easy laughs from "community organized" congregations somehow doesn't translate to the weightier matters that the leader of the free world has to face. Obama is the living embodiment of the slogan about not needing enemies when you have friends like these. Could he have possibly selected a group better calculated to convince the nation he never met a loudmouthed, obstreperous, idiot he didn't like? (If I hear one more of these jokers say that Jeremiah Wright is one of the most brilliant biblical scholars in the world I'm going to vomit on my keyboard).

Obama's problem today is that he's going through a cycle that most of go through as young people, anywhere between young adulthood and middle age, when we come to a new view of things, and shed some of the foolish associations of the past, and the foolish ideas of our youth. We laugh at ourselves a bit: "I used to think that?! I said that?!" It's all part of growing up.

At least, in Obama's case, he's shedding the foolish associations, with the gentle prompting of the conservative press. And he's doing so at record speed. It's a healthy thing, by and large. Maybe he'll start shedding the foolish ideas soon, too. Everything in good time.

You just don't want somebody still going through that in the Oval Office.

1 comment:

Wendy Woodley said...

Isn't there a minimum age requirement for a candidate to the presidency? I think there is (is it 40?) and here is evidence of the need for it.