Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Wright Stuff

I am not responsible for anything my mentor says. You are not responsible for anything that your mentor says. If you are close to your mentors, as I am to mine, you would not be likely to abandon that person even if they said something absolutely batshit crazy. Doing so would probably reflect worse on you than simply saying nothing. This all assumes, of course, that your mentor does not persist in saying crazy things that can actually harm you.

It also assumes that you are not dealing with the triple factors of Hillary and Bill Clinton and their imperturbable sense of entitlement, the well-oiled conservative attack machine, and a media culture as intellectually shallow as one can possibly imagine. In that case, you're Barack Obama, who somehow is being held to account for things that he clearly does not believe, has never advocated, and that someone else said.

So what does Obama do in this latest round of the ongoing cavalcade of idiocy surrounding the increasingly tedious Jeremiah Wright who, if he was taken out of context earlier has happily allowed his narcissism to shine while he provides the fullest context imaginable about ideas ranging from the justifiable (if angry) to the utterly inane to the dangerously misguided. You make it clear, crystal clear, that you denounce everything the mentor has said. There really was no need to make such denunciations of course, because the person who made those statements WAS NOT YOU, but that's the culture in which we live. And then we move on to focus on your views, not Wright's, because you are running for President, and Wright is not.

Regrettably we do not live in this ideal world in which you are not held to account for things that other adults who are not you say. We instead live in a world in which pundits fatuously, vacuously, and gaseously prattle on about responsibilities that ought not to be considered your own to disavow things you demonstrably do not represent to prove points to people who are never going to support you in the first place but who love the idea of watching you prostrate yourself. It's a form of minstrelsy, but you do it because it's been demanded of you and fulfilling those demands is the only way to try to steer the conversation back to matters of substance and hope that there is a way to make opportunity out of this hopeless muddle that has been foisted upon you.

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