Category Archives: Rev. Jeremiah Wright

When You’ve Got Nothing Else

[UPDATE]: 2

The plot thickens:

Joe Ricketts’s children, which include Obama bundler Laura Ricketts, bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and have been in talks with the city about renovating the team’s 98-year-old stadium, Wrigley Field.

That appears to be on hold now.

“The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama – with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign,” said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. “He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.”

[…]

The Ricketts family is seeking taxpayer funding for the renovations. Emanuel has reportedly sought to put $100 million in tax incentives into the deal.

Would love to be a fly on the wall at the next Ricketts family gathering.

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[UPDATE]:

Ricketts’ Super-PAC has rejected the Jeremiah Wright smear proposal. So, no go.

This whole thing is bizarre. I wonder if they put it “out there” so it could percolate beneath the radar of the “decent” discourse, instead to marinate in the sewer of right wing blogs and media outlets a la WingNut Daily. That way Mittens can pretend to stay above the fray.

God, who knows. This campaign is already giving me a headache.

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Republican Moneybags Joe Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs founder of TD Ameritrade whose children own the Chicago Cubs, has pledged $10 million on a smear campaign against President Obama using the old Rev. Jeremiah Wright stuff that didn’t work last time. The storyboard for the video was leaked to the New York Times and as you can see, it’s a pretty nasty piece of work.

Whenever I see stuff like this it helps to remember that negative campaigns are an attempt to compensate for a campaign’s inherent weakness through deception and distraction. Here they are trying to compensate for the fact that their candidate sucks and they have no ideas save the failed ones that everyone remembers all too well from the Bush years (deregulate, cut taxes, * poof * magic happens). We’re still seeing signs of that fallacy crashing down around everyone’s ears, such as JP Morgan’s now-$3 billion gambling loss which recently surfaced.

I don’t really see how this is supposed to work but there you have it. Distraction, it’s how we do stuff these days.

Republicans are trying to tell us that the President’s endorsement of marriage equality will undercut his support among more culturally-conservative religious African-Americans. I don’t know if that is true, but it doesn’t seem like attacking the black church is a good way to help that along if such a rift indeed exists.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Rev. Jeremiah Wright

>Memory Hole, IOKIYAR Edition

>We didn’t even have to dig too deep to find this one, either. While the mainstream media continues to attack Rev. Wright and even Michelle Obama for statements viewed as unpatriotic, last September a conservative church choir appearing at the “Values Voter Debate” rewrote the words to “God Bless America.” In the new version, the song condemns America:

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is.

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

The courts ruled prayer out of our schools
In June of ‘62
Told the children “you are your own God now
So you can make the rules”
O say can you see what that choice
Has cost us to this day
America, one nation under God, has gone astray

Why should god bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

In ‘73 the Courts said we
Could take the unborn lives
The choice is yours don’t worry now
It’s not a wrong, it’s your right

But just because they made it law
Does not change God’s command
The most that we can hope for is
God’s mercy on our land

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is
Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

Where was the outrage? What talking heads, columnists, pundits, newscasters have mentioned this as the Obama-Rev. Wright issue has hit the headlines?

*crickets*crickets*crickets*

This divide is a perfect example of what Atrios posted last week: that conservatives and the religious right have a distorted vision of the American past, which they believe has been corrupted by all things liberal. Liberals and the liberal church believe America’s past contains deep flaws and injustrices, but the country can still be great in the future. This failure to agree on the American experience drives the competing narratives of right and left.

What I don’t get is the hostility toward one message and not the other. Why is it that liberals are called the “blame America first” crowd for pointing out the flaws of our history, while conservatives blame contemporary America for everything from natural disasters to acts of terrorism and they get a pass?

(h/t, Digby)

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Filed under religion, religious right, Rev. Jeremiah Wright

>Who Will Rid Me Of This Troublesome Priest?

>I find the media free-for-all unleashed on Rev. Jeremiah Wright alarming, to say the least. Liberals have long maintained that separation of church and state protects both government and church. And I think the attacks on Rev. Wright are a perfect example of why this is so important.

Wright is being attacked for his sermons. Not for things he said on Meet The Press or a column he wrote in the New York Times, or a book he recently published–not even for his appearances at a political event, a la “Justice Sunday” or “Renew America.” No, clips of Rev. Wright’s sermons have been removed from their religious, social and cultural context and trotted out for public critique by people with a political agenda.

I have a big problem with this; I think all people of faith should.

Preachers deliver sermons based on what they discern God has placed in their hearts to say. That such messages sometimes challenge the political and cultural establishment is as old as religion itself. Anyone remember a famous Jewish rabbi who was hung from a cross for defying the establishment of his day?

But this was inevitable, once we put a chink in that wall of separation between church and state. Recent decades have seen religious leaders engage in the business of government and politics at unprecedented levels. Religious leaders now freely endorse political candidates. They have access to the seats of power via weekly conference calls with the White House. Some even use the pulpit to push one political party over another. Religious groups get government funding, religious organizations perform social functions that government once did.

Religion has become a political tool used by the powerful and the want-to-be-powerful. And all was very well and good, as long as religious leaders supported the government and its agenda.

But now we have a pastor speaking out against the government. He has called on his congregation to question those actions the government has taken in their name. And all hell breaks loose. An election could be changed. A candidate must denounce his pastor’s words. And religious leaders all across the country are no doubt wondering if their words will be picked apart in the same way. Will there be consequences for speaking out about an injustice they see?

As a churchgoer I wonder: will we get to a place where pastors only preach the “safe” message? Will the integrity of the pulpit be breached?

This is what happens when you make religion a political pawn. We’ve entered a treacherous place in American politics, people. America: tread gently. We are about to cross a line, and we may not like where it takes us.

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Filed under church and state, religion, Rev. Jeremiah Wright