The Reverend Wright is a formidable figure: he's smart, articulate, and it's clear that his mind ranges over a wide swathe of work.
And he's a showman, which doesn't hurt.
Alas, all the pundits can see is that he chose his moment poorly to defend himself and the black
I think there's more to it than an inflated ego.
Wright provided the explanation yesterday at the press club - or perhaps it was at another mike - but nobody seemed to hear it. He said that if Obama becomes president, he will go after him to repair the damage that continues to be done to the black community.
That would explain why Obama has not used his steel, or gotten angry. As the reverend said, Obama knows what is expected of him. And how would he not know, after spending twenty years in Wright's black liberation theology church?
The pundits didn't hear it, because they have been trained to filter out sound bites of this sort. Very few among the American elite are ready to admit that there is a class as well as a race antagonism. Congressman Dennis Kucinich was one of those few, and because he did not put enough emphasis on bringing people together and on healing, he was ignored. That is also why Senator McCain could say with a straight face that on the whole Americans are better off...
Senator Obama, having created a movement, now has to own the American liberation theology that draws people of all races to Reverend White's and other churches around the country.
Before he can heal the American divide, he has to fully own it, as opposed to merely lamenting it, and it is because he has not yet done so in clear and unequivocal terms that some accuse him of being an empty suit and many will accuse him of lacking strength and guts.
Luckily, there is also an operational bonus to owning the American divide: he will have the weapon with which to counter Hillary's claims of elitism. This means pointing out that there is a difference between belonging to the elite - i.e. benefitting from an excellent education - and being an elitist, which means only being interested only in the elites. He will then be able to reinnnd peoople that ONLY THE ELITES CAN BRING PROFOUND CHANGE because it requires and excellent education to grasp the complexities of today's world - and obtain access to the financial means to win the battle over those who care only about themselves.
All revolutionaries came from their respective elites, and if Americans want a peaceful, as oposed to a turbulent revolution, they need to stick with Obama through thick and thin, because only he has the dual quaities of awareness and soul to bring peaceful change about.
Where he differs with Wright is not in the message, but in the method, one being in your face, the other appealing to reason. But when it comes down to it, America's pidgeons have been coming home to roost for too long, and it shouldn't be a black mark on someone's character to say so without having to quote a foreign ambassador.