Dana Milbank used to cover the Clinton White House for The New
Republic. For several years thereafter he was the Washington Post's person
at the Bush White House, and for quite some time now he has written a
column, "Washington Sketch," for the WP about the theater of politics.
This morning it was the theater of the absurd or, rather, the theater of
the absurd with serious consequences that he was covering. Yes, it was
Jeremiah Wright's appearance at the National Press Club with security
provided by bow-tied and facially immobile goons from the Nation of
Islam. If you think that the blessed Reverend Wright and Barack Obama are
in cahoots, think again. If any one is doing damage to Obama's
presidential campaign it is less the Hillary-Billary couple than the
candidate's former Chicago pastor.
Read about it in Milbank's blog, "For Obama, a Voice
of Doom?" Everything Wright has said already but you'd discounted as
the hyped-upped rhetoric of some black churches he repeated, plus
some. Among the exuberant listeners were drug user Marion Barry, Malik
Zulu Shabazz (a name as inauthentic as you can fabricate) of the New Black
Panther Party and Cornell West, professor of religion at Princeton which
courted him tirelessly (an index of its entirely undeserved inferiority
complex) from Harvard which is lucky to have had a place that wanted him
so. West is also co-chairman with Rabbi Michael Lerner of the Tikkun
Community, tedious, tedious, tedious. Lerner, you'll recall, was Hillary's
tutor in "the politics of meaning," a more meaningful relationship that
ever Obama and Wright shared.
Frankly, I don't think that Wright means doom at all for Obama. But the
emeritus pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ was received on Sunday
by 10,000 enthusiasts at an NAACP gathering in Detroit, reported in
Monday's New York Times. This event tells you how far we have yet to
go in the coming together of the races in America, and it also is a
demonstration of why we need Barack Obama so much.