FINAL UPDATE: I missed Obama's press conference because I had to go to a neurologist's appointment with Jacques, but I'm hearing good things about it. I truly hope he showed strength; it may be a blessing in disguise that Wright went far enough to free Obama finally to reject him. The Lord works in mysterious ways! (I heard briefly on ABC's Evening News that some in the African American community are saying Obama did what he had to do.) I have promised to watch "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" with J, but I'm taping "Hardball," figuring that will catch me up. And then I'll start a new post.
UPDATE: Dana Milbank's Washington Post blog Rough Sketch (at the bottom it says "by Eric Planin") agrees. And then a commenter goes on at length about a "Jewish lobby" conspiracy to destroy Obama. All it takes is one crazy to bring the others swarming out of the woodwork. How do we recover from this intellectual terrorist attack??
Reverend Wright is Barack's albatross, one he took on of his own free will, and one that's now flapping and squawking for attention around his neck. Necklacing him.
I wrote back here, and I still believe, that consciously or unconsciously Wright wants Obama to lose and is doing all he can to make that happen. (Hey, for once Rush Limbaugh and I are totally on the same page.) A black man being elected president would deal a mortal blow to his world view and his power base. A loss will allow him to blame Whitey and claim that American racism is indeed indelible.
Wright, however, is just being himself. Obama is entirely to blame for hitching his star to this particular honey wagon. He should have seen years ago that this man would be a loose cannon and a time bomb to his national aspirations -- and cut him loose. If, that is, he was serious about being president.
At this point, he could even lose the nomination, because it is going to be clear that he brings a liability to November that may make him unelectable. (Of course, there are those who say that's exactly what Hillary wants.)
Crawl off and die already, Democrats. The party's over.
UPDATE II: Andrew Sullivan:
One response to all this is to despair. We're seeing many of the worst aspects of America's culture war come back to target the one politician who had the chance to get us beyond it.
Andrew (fellow self-hating baby boomer) returns to his generational theme:
It is no accident to me that Wright is of the Vietnam generation that bequeathed us these divides; and it is no accident that the Clintons will eagerly pivot off it ...
I think that is part of Jeremiah Wright's view of Obama [...]: he will never forgive him for winning so many white votes, and breaking the pattern and ideology of victimhood and marginalization that forged Wright's identity. This dynamic is very powerful in minority circles. In the gay world, for example, the younger generation faced enormous hostility at first in their desire for civil marriage. We were regarded as sell-outs, heterosexists, patriarchal fascists. I will never forget having a bookstore picketed by gay activists on a book tour for "Virtually Normal." As integration deepens, the generation whose identity was created by separation can feel left behind, betrayed, and lash out ... at other members of the minority.
Andrew claims all this makes Obama more important to elect than ever. And Ann Althouse joins in, though more speculatively than as an enthusiast:
But if Obama loses, Wright and his ilk will be magnified. They will have been instrumental in destroying Obama, yet they will use fact that Americans rejected Obama to reinforce their critique of America.
The message Obama needs to convey is: Take me now, whatever my flaws, or you will be saddled with people like Wright for decades. If we are disgusted by Wright, we shouldn't reject Obama. We should embrace him as the best hope we're ever going to have.
But the best hope of what? Is anybody else perplexed that just now, an election has been hijacked by the race issue when there are so many economic and national-security issues that affect everybody? Racial detente was quietly evolving! Should it have been allowed to continue to do so? Is this a massive distraction from common concerns AND a premature, violent disruption of an evolutionary process, like digging up a seed to see if it was sprouting fast enough?
Shelby Steele would argue that a more important factor in the black community right now is the readiness to seize the increasing opportunities that do exist. Instead, Obama has been thrown up there like a litmus test to prove how racist the nation still is or isn't. And if you question his judgment or maturity or readiness, that becomes a checkmark on the "racist" side. That's infuriating. In fact, it could be argued that to judge Obama as sternly as you'd judge any human being who wanted to be president is less racist than insisting he be elected to prove we're not racist! JESUS!
If he had waited for the next election cycle, as many people wished he would, he would have been a more seasoned politician, and racial reconciliation would have been considerably more advanced on its own. This is a disaster. The only people it remotely benefits are the crazies. I don't see a way out. By Ann's reasoning, we've been blackmailed into choosing Obama. (No pun intended.)