There are two cynical theories of why he’s running off at the mouth knowing that it hurts Obama, both of which were touched on in this post. The weak form, or Gingrich theory, is that Wright’s feelings are hurt after he was shunted aside and now he’s out for revenge. I.e. it’s personal. The strong form, or Huckabee theory, is that Wright’s black nationalist ministry is threatened by the progress that an Obama presidency would confirm. I.e. it’s business, and he’s out to protect his business interests. From one man known for mixing politics and religion to another:
“Jeremiah Wright needs for Obama to lose so he can justify his anger, his hostile bitterness against the United States of America,” Huckabee told reporters following a fundraiser for Montana gubernatorial candidate Roy Brown.
“If it’s not true that a man, because of his color, is held back and can’t be president, then so much of what Jeremiah Wright has said is invalid,” Huckabee said…
“His (Obama’s) campaign is not being derailed by his race, it’s being derailed by a person who doesn’t want him to prove that we have made great advances in this country,” Huckabee said.
It’s clever and Machiavellian enough that people will want this to be true — but is it? As much of a comfort as it is to imagine racial demagogues like Wright, Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson panicking at the thought of a post-racial America and setting out to kneecap Obama, if what Huck says is true then how come they haven’t been trying to sabotage him all along? It wasn’t anything Wright said recently that caused this to burst open; it was Brian Ross at ABC digging out his old sermons and posting the killer soundbites. If the goal was to wreck Obama’s chances, the time to speak up was before he went on that decisive roll of caucus victories in February. Instead Wright was a good soldier for more than a year, keeping quiet and not doing anything to attract attention to himself until ABC and Fox forced the issue. The Gingrich theory is closer to the truth, I think.
Exit question: What happened to Huck’s sympathy for Wright? I thought we owed the man some slack.
As easy as it is for those of us who are white, to look back and say “That’s a terrible statement!”…I grew up in a very segregated south. And I think that you have to cut some slack — and I’m gonna be probably the only Conservative in America who’s gonna say something like this, but I’m just tellin’ you — we’ve gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told “you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus…” And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.