The 2008 Campaign Mess

March 27, 2008

It would be fun to watch this bizarre seesaw contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, except for the horrifying possibility that one of them could end up being our next president.

Conservatives have long recognized the power lust and ruthlessness that defines the Clintons. Finally, many Democrats opened their eyes to this, too, as they watched Bill Clinton’s deliberate ignition of racial tensions in efforts to quell the Obama surge. Who does this upstart Obama think he is, trying to disrupt the inexorable flow of history leading to a continuation of the Clinton co-presidency?

Though Bill’s strategy only yielded the Clintons temporary fruit, Obama delivered them bushel baskets of his own with revelations of his longtime association with a stridently racist black pastor. Obama might have been finished but for Hillary’s quasi-masochistic penchant for self-destruction.

Hillary just couldn’t resist claiming she came under sniper fire in Bosnia, presumably so she could add this combat experience to her resume of otherwise mostly vicarious achievements.

Caught red-handed in this gratuitous lie, she tried to pass it off as a mistake. Bill Clinton often tried to minimize the egregiousness of his deliberate misbehavior by characterizing it as a mistake, as when he called his ongoing intentional affair with Monica Lewinsky a mere mistake in judgment.

It is inconceivable that Hillary’s imagined sniper-fire incident was a mistake, and her lame effort to excuse her whopper as a product of campaign fatigue is enormously insulting. Sane people neither forget such dramatic moments nor imagine them if they didn’t occur.

Truthfully, I can’t describe how disillusioned I would be if I thought the candidate I was supporting were capable of such strange behavior. And this is far from a one-time occurrence. We’ve all known people, even friends, who embellish. But very few take it to this extreme, and none of those few would we remotely consider to be presidential material.

On the other hand, Democrats have only one other candidate on their side of the aisle, and he’s looking increasingly problematic. They should have known Barack Obama’s apparent transcendence was too good to be true.

Many of us understood from the beginning the unrealism in the promises of this extreme liberal partisan to be a messianic uniter. But little did we know that he attended a church whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has distinguished himself through anti-American and racist rants and as a scholar and practitioner of black liberation theology.

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell warned on “Hannity & Colmes” that what we really need to focus on with this Obama/Wright flap, are the tenets of black liberation theology and to what extent Barack Obama embraces them, assuming his pastor and church truly endorse this theology.

Blackwell said he is concerned this theology supports partial-birth abortion, pacifism in foreign policy, and economic socialism. He suggested that responsible voters have a duty to inquire whether Obama subscribes to these views.

As it turns out, Blackwell’s observations are just the tip of the iceberg concerning this theology. If half of what I’ve read about it is true, it promotes anything but a unifying message. Instead of centering on God and his relationship to man, it appears to be unduly man-centered, race-oriented and more political than theological.

Rather than adopting Martin Luther King’s colorblind approach, it stresses — according to Anthony B. Bradley of Covenant Theological Seminary — “an unqualified commitment to the Black community as that community seeks to define its existence in the light of God’s liberating work in the world.” The theology, says Bradley, “laid the foundation for many (black pastors) to embrace Marxism and a distorted self-image of perpetual ‘victim.'”

Doesn’t America have a right to know whether the leading Democratic presidential contender buys into the reputed theology of the church he has attended for 20 years? If Pastor Wright’s Trinity Church doesn’t teach this theology, Obama should have no problem telling us so. But if it does, he has much explaining to do.

It won’t suffice for him to dismiss the inquiry with the same casual indifference by which he attempted to trivialize Pastor Wright’s disturbing sermons as just a few remarks over 30 years condensed into a 30-second sound bite. Even a tenuous connection to black liberation theology undermines Barack’s self-description as a unifier.

These disqualifying attributes of both Democratic candidates would ordinarily be enough to motivate and energize conservatives to new levels of commitment to the GOP nominee. But so far, John McCain, especially in light of his recent speech to the World Affairs Council, seems, except for a few remaining issues, to be doing his best to become the first Democratic president to be elected on the Republican ticket.