Andrew Sullivan looks at his colleagues on the right wing for their reaction to the speech by Barack Obama.
For me, this is an epiphany of sorts. Not that I have changed my mind about the things I wrote in “The Conservative Soul.” Not that I have stopped believing in limited government, individual freedom, personal responsibility, pragmatic change. But I have come to believe that large swathes of today’s conservative movement truly are hateful.
To read the Corner today was to be reminded that some are immune to the grace and hope and civility that Reagan summoned at his best; the anger and bitterness is so palpably fueled by fear and racism it really does mark a moment of revelation to me.
To which I can only add: No shit, Sherlock. You’re just now figuring this out? Jonathan Martin at Politico reports that the GOP oppo research team is already on gearing up.
Just as with John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004, Republican strategists view the Wright flap as deeply damaging to Obama because it strikes at the message, or set of principles, at the heart of his candidacy.
In Obama’s case, the core of his appeal has been that he transcends race and is more inclined toward conciliation than combat.
“He wants the authentic black image but he also wants to keep all his safe, suburban Obamacans in line,” said Rick Wilson. “Well, you can’t have both – they’re mutually exclusive.”
“This is a guy who associates with some real haters,” he added.
Perhaps most damaging for Obama, his opponents now have the powerful video to make that case.
“It’s harder for people to say it’s taken out of context because these are Wright’s own words,” noted Chris LaCivita, the Republican strategist who helped craft the Swift Boat commercials against Kerry that employed the use of their target’s own language when he returned from Vietnam and returned his medals. “You let people draw their own conclusions.”
“You don’t have to say that he’s unpatriotic, you don’t question his patriotism,” he added. “Because I guaran-damn-tee you that with that footage you don’t have to say it.”
Asked if they would say it or even suggest it, a spokesman for John McCain indicated that the GOP candidate would not.
“There are profound differences on enormously important issues that will affect the future of the country,” said McCain adviser Steve Schmidt. “He’s said he intends to campaign on those issues.”
That makes it imperative that every time some right-wing nut job runs Rev. Wright up the flagpole, we pin it on the McCain campaign and demand that they explain their connection to these racist bastards. Every damn time.
(HT to TPM)