The more I think about the Jeremiah Wright carnival, the angrier I get. I suspect — and hope — Barack Obama is much, much angrier. He shouldn’t hesitate to show that righteous indignation, as recent political history suggests.
With his uniformly flaccid response to the Swift Boat attacks, John Kerry confirmed suspicions that he lacked passion. Voters were likewise indifferent about his candidacy.
Maybe his reserve proved him better than us (a conclusion reached by many voters about Kerry, not to his advantage), but I would’ve been mighty pissed if my draft-massaging opponent tried to score points questioning my patriotism.
And I’d be embracing my inner McCain if the man I publicy defended — at great political risk — inferred that I agreed with his divisive, conspiratorial rhetoric, knowingly jeopardizing my bid for the Democratic nomination. To be the first black man on a presidential ticket.
Obama said Wright is like an uncle to him, a comment he’s bound to regret. Considering that characterization, I thought of myself, 20, 30 years down the road, showing up drunk at the hospital where my nephew was primed to become chief oncologist, a cigarette in one hand, cheap sun reflector in the other, alternately coughing and wheezing, pausing just long enough to demand “Dr. Feelgood” fork over more under-the-counter meds.
It would be like that, but nowhere near as damaging as Wright’s narcissistic meltdown.