Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Trouble in Fairyland for Obama

There must be something going terribly wrong in the Obama campaign because even the New York Times has made the editorial choice of recognizing in print what other less smitten sources have seen for some time: the self-proclaimed post-partisan candidate, supposedly the Uniter of these United States is not himself post-partisan, but a hard-left liberal. ("Obama's Test: Can a Liberal Be a Unifier?" Mar. 25, 2008.)

At the core of Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign is a promise that he can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars and build a new governing majority. To achieve the change the country wants, he says, “we need a leader who can finally move beyond the divisive politics of Washington and bring Democrats, independents and Republicans together to get things done.” But this promise leads, inevitably, to a question: Can such a majority be built and led by Mr. Obama, whose voting record was, by one ranking, the most liberal in the Senate last year?

Yes, there's trouble in fairyland.

In addition, how Obama can sustain any credibility under the withering prose of Christopher Hitchens is astonishing ("Blind Faith" in Slate, March 24, 2008). Consider how he (quite properly) characterizes Obama's reprehensible use of Grandma Dunham in The Speech.
You often hear it said, of some political or other opportunist, that he would sell his own grandmother if it would suit his interests. But you seldom, if ever, see this notorious transaction actually being performed, which is why I am slightly surprised that Obama got away with it so easily. (Yet why do I say I am surprised? He still gets away with absolutely everything.)

Well, perhaps less and less so. Good hearted European Americans have been joining good hearted African Americans in heeding Obama's call for a post-racial United States of America. But we can expect Obama's offensive and indefensible equation of his dear old grandmother's occasional candid moments with Jeremiah Wright's decades of racist rantings to cool the warm affections of White voters, even Democratic ones. There is "an inchoate resentment among many white voters who are damned if they will be called bigots by a man who associates with Jeremiah Wright."

Of course, Ole Hitch sees all this as evidence that "religion poisons everything." But he has it backwards. It is people who poison everything. People like him, Jeremiah Wright, me and you. The prophet Isaiah told Israel what is true of us all: "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). People poison religion, marriage, the life of the mind, little league baseball...everything. But Hitchens doesn't see this because, like the Chicago preacher whom he calls "wicked and stupid," he too is self-righteous. The remedy for the poison that flows from every human heart in one form or another is the grace of God in Jesus Christ who said, "In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world." In the face of a multi-thousand year human history of poisonous mutual destruction, what hope is there that either Christopher Hitchens or Barack Obama is going to "fix our souls" (to use Michelle Obama's words)? This requires a miracle. It requires an act of re-creation.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - II Corinthians 5:17

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