On to bigger controversies involving politics and race. Rich Lowry wonders if Barack Obama failed to disavow Jeremiah Wright because he knew that Wright, rather than shutting up and going away, might go into full opposition mode. Ross Douthat says Wright is sabotaging Obama to become “what? The next Al Sharpton? The next Willie Horton? How vile and pathetic.” Even Andrew Sullivan now thinks Obama needs a stronger response.
While the need to throw Wright under the bus has grown, I just don’t see how Obama does it convincingly at this point. Wright hasn’t really said anything new. He has just decided to take the national platform that the Obama campaign has, perhaps inadvertently, given him. Anything Obama does now is going to look like a political calculation that won’t satsify voters angry about the Wright connection. In fact, it would be more likely to offend voters who think Obama took a brave stand by not disavowing Wright, particularly within the black community. I see the problem for the Obama campaign, but I don’t see any easy solution.