That’s how The American Prospect magazine refers to The Obama Doctrine, which is based on a very good concept that, unfortunately, doesn’t follow through.
The article opens with this:
When Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama met in California for the Jan. 31 debate, their back-and-forth resembled their many previous encounters, with the Democratic presidential hopefuls scrambling for the small policy yardage between them. And then Obama said something about the Iraq War that wasn’t incremental at all. “I don’t want to just end the war,” he said, “but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place.”
Sounds enlightened. Noble. Sweeping. What does he mean, though? Yes, the writer says,
The stage we’re in now with Barack Obama’s pastor Wright problem is sort of post-spin and pre-confrontation. People are still analyzing it. Like, Christopher Hitchens, for one. About a year ago, Hitchens reports, Obama knew this day was coming, so there’s some grandstanding going on now in how it’s being played.
“If Barack gets past the primary,” said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the New York Times in April of last year, “he might have to publicly distance himself from me. I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.” Pause just for a moment, if only to admire the sheer calculating self-confidence of this. Sen. Obama has long known perfectly well, in other words, that he’d one day have to put some daylight between himself and a bigmouth Farrakhan fan. But he felt he needed his South Side Chicago “base” in the meantime. So he coldly decided…
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Feuding Democrats have handed Senator John McCain the gift of time. How well he uses it may determine his chance to beat them in November.
At the moment, Republicans can savor protracted warfare between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. As the Democratic rivals trade attacks, Mr. McCain, already the presumptive Republican nominee, has crept ahead of both in national polls.
But they had to get the usual gripes in there, too.
Yet Mr. McCain’s advisers recognize their long-term challenges in a remarkably threatening political environment. Voters remain weary of the Iraq war, worried about the economy and disenchanted with the lame-duck Republican president.
There’s been a lot of speculation about where the former president has been lately and why we haven’t heard from him. He has been campaigning for Hillary quietly, but he’s stepping up again, in visibility and fervor. And quickly drawing reaction from the Obama campaign.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to clarify comments by former President Clinton that seemed to question Barack Obama’s patriotism — comments an Obama aide likened to Joseph McCarthy.
Clinton’s campaign said the comments were being misinterpreted and quickly posted a clarification on its Web site. But retired Air Force Gen. Merrill “Tony” McPeak said he was disappointed by the comments and compared them to those of McCarthy, the 1950s communist-hunting senator.
The news stories are out there all over the place today that Barack Obama’s passport files were breached. For most of Friday morning, the headlines carried some version of Obama’s outrage over his personal information being accessed, and some version of Condoleeza Rice’s apology to him for that mistake.
Or were they never allowed to close? More news articles and commentaries are looking at the scorching, angry sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright as the common experience in black churches in America and saying that whites just need to understand their context. Is that making an excuse to enable open-ended hostility?
Wright, former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, espouses a philosophy known as a black liberation theology, a movement developed in the late 1960s that advocated for a more militant approach to ending racism. The theology grounds the ideas of the black power movement in Christian doctrine.
But beyond black liberation theology, scholars and his fellow ministers put Wright in an even older tradition, in which black ministers, like the biblical prophets, used their pulpits to chide the nation into moral action.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is absolutely right, as he said in his Philadelphia speech on Tuesday, that Americans are “hungry” for his “message of unity.”
But his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — and not only that, but his whole liberal-populist agenda — raises profound questions whether he is capable of delivering on it.
By choosing — and sticking with — the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as his spiritual adviser, Obama has damaged his ability to heal the nation’s racial wounds. And his agenda offers nothing that will attract Republicans and end political polarization.
Buried in his eloquent, highly praised speech on America’s racial divide, Sen. Barack Obama contradicted more than a year of denials and spin from him and his staff about his knowledge of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial sermons.
Similarly, Obama also has only recently given a much fuller accounting of his relationship with indicted political fixer Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a longtime friend, who his campaign once described as just one of “thousands of donors.”
Until yesterday, Obama said the only thing controversial he knew about Rev. Wright was his stand on issues relating to Africa, abortion and gay marriage.
“I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial,” Obama said at a community meeting in Nelsonville, Ohio, earlier this month.
Somehow convince the electorate that his long and close association with Rev. Wright — including donating thousands of dollars to his church — was not an egregious error in judgment bearing upon his fitness to be president.
…many commentators, and some his admirers before now, think he failed.
Obama acknowledged hearing Wright make controversial statements, although not as offensive as those played recently on television. But he never explained why he hadn’t immediately confronted Wright at that time. And his suggestion that Wright’s statements were the product of surviving as a black man in the environment of the Fifties and Sixties, that one shouldn’t be surprised to hear them in a black church, is a calumny: most black Americans of Wright’s age, however wronged they might’ve been, no…
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The address presented Sen. Obama, who leads Sen. Hillary Clinton in the delegate tally for the Democratic nomination, with two important tests: show voters that he could beat back an unfolding political crisis while dispelling the notion that he shares his pastor’s views that seem to contradict his call to transcend the nation’s racial divisions.
So what did we learn? For one thing, that it’s time to put the issue of race out there on the center of the table and take a good look at it instead of dancing around it anymore, for one agenda or another.