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The Company We Keep

Here's the speech I'd give if I were Barack:

I've taken some heat for my long association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Let me make this perfectly clear: he's an idiot. He's a creep. He's a race-baiting, scum-sucking lowlife.

But let me make this clear, too: he's got just about the biggest congregation in Chicago.

I'm a politician. I also like to think of myself as a community organizer. I go where the votes are. I go where I can network. I chose the church I thought would do my career the most good. Oops.

Now, if you want a politician who never associates with assholes, you'd better see if you can raise Mother Theresa from the dead and get her to run. Associating with assholes is a big part of any politician's job. For God's sake, people, I'm in the Senate. I work with Robert Byrd and Thad Cochran. You think this loudmouthed preacher's the only jackass I have to pretend to listen to?

And how about all you holier-than-thou hypocrites at home? You don't have that one racist buddy you can't quite lose? You don't have a relative you suspect of being a bit of a Spitzer? You don't work with at least one complete jerkwad? You want to be judged by association with the biggest dickhead you know?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

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“The Company We Keep”

  1. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    It might work, only it won't happen. He'll equivocate about how many good things Wright has said also, and thus prolong the agony.

  2. Blogger amba Says:

    Too bad, huh?

  3. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    Yep, looks like that's what he did. "But the truth is that isn't all that I know of the man, ... he has been like family to me".

    Try this on for size: "Our history has given black people some good reasons to be angry. We Americans have no choice but to try to do better than we have in the past. And I think it's sometimes good to be reminded of that, to remember why we need to do better, even as we try to do better. I wish Rev. White had given us that reminder in a way other than he did, because I think we can do better and we want to do better. One of the ways that I'm different from Rev. White is that I would rather not dwell on the problems of yesterday, but rather I think we should find a way to make tomorrow better than today." Then invoke God and the Declaration of Independence and get back to work organizing voters in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

    Whaddya think?

  4. Blogger peter hoh Says:

    Even Mother Theresa associated with assholes. Most famously, Baby Doc Duvalier.

  5. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    I've had a chance to actually read the whole speech, and not just listen to snippets of it on the radio driving to and from court. I take back about three-quarters of my earlier cynicism. I'm still a little cynical in that he seemed to go out of his way to talk about good things Wright did, and that will prolong the agony. But the condemnation of Wright's controversial remarks was quite clear and his addressing of the blame for racism and its problems -- both from Wright and other sources -- seems both even-handed and productive.