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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 21, 2008 / 14 Adar II 5768

Obama's speech — a glorious failure

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his hour of political need, Barack Obama went to his base — the media. He delivered a speech about the nation's racial divisions that couldn't possibly get anything but lavish praise from the press, burying for now the controversy over his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.


A gifted writer, Obama can plumb depths most politicians can't, and he spoke truths about the state of race relations in America in an unusually frank and subtle way. But Obama's speech, like his congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ that he described so lyrically, contains multitudes. Swaddled in all the high-mindedness was rhetorical sleight of hand about the Rev. Wright.


Ultimately, he sought to justify his relationship to a pastor who believes the U.S. government spread the AIDS virus and has called on God to "damn America." This makes comparisons, say, to Lincoln's "House Divided" address perverse. Lincoln delivered a tightly argued speech elevated to greatness by its moral discernment and purpose. For all its eloquence, Obama's speech didn't hang together logically and had at its core a moral relativism explaining away Rev. Wright's hatreds.


Obama explicitly denied that he was excusing Wright's views, even as he did it in exceptionally high-toned sophistry. The reason Obama had to give a 38-minute speech is that he was incapable of saying four unadorned words, "I made a mistake." He could have said long ago that his gratitude to Wright for bringing him to Christianity and his bond with the church community blinded him to Wright's lies about America and hateful rants. Most of the public would have understood, and forgiven him.


Obama did rap Wright on the knuckles. He said Wright's videotaped ravings "expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America." Well, of course they did. Seeing racism as endemic and America as unredeemably corrupt is central to the Rev. Wright's black liberation theology; indeed, it would be a passable definition of it.


In prior interviews, Obama implied that he had never heard the Rev. Wright say anything untoward, but in the speech he admitted he heard "remarks that could be considered controversial." On CNN, he said those remarks had to do with things like "infidelity and family life," as if the Rev. Wright never aired his poisonous worldview except in a couple of videotaped sermons acquired by ABC News. This is dubious, which is probably why Obama's campaign is resisting media requests for dates when he attended services.


Obama made two arguments for why he couldn't reject the Rev. Wright. One was that the Rev. Wright lived through the era of segregation. So did many others. Surely, there are plenty of black pastors in the country who have suffered more than Wright without letting a left-wing racialist ideology taint their Christian message of love and mercy, let alone telling paranoid lies from the pulpit.


The other was he "can no more disown him than I can disown the black community." This was a poetic simulacrum of profundity. Does that mean Obama can reject no black man or woman because it would constitute rejecting the black community? Did the Hillary Clinton campaign reject the Italian-American community when it rejected Geraldine Ferraro?


In the end, Obama made the case for the respectability of a man who is a hater — and did it, amazingly enough, in a speech devoted to ending divisiveness. At one moment, Obama said we needed a searching national dialogue about race; at another, he suggested we needed to get beyond all that and unite around a cliched left-wing agenda of anti-corporatism. But whatever Obama is advocating at a given moment, his solution is always himself in his glorious personhood, the salve to the country's ills.


For now, Obama's speech worked. But questions about his judgment and candor will linger.

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© 2008 King Features Syndicate

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