Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reverend Wright and Chas Freeman

James Taranto makes the connection between two seemingly distant 'advisers' to President Obama: Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Chas Freeman.
A year ago, Barack Obama was running for president and people were starting to pay attention to his "spiritual mentor," Jeremiah Wright. Obama tried to have it every way: He claimed he had no idea about Wright's crackpot ravings, which of course he did not agree with, but he proclaimed his personal loyalty to a man he portrayed as merely eccentric and avuncular. Months later, when this approach was no longer political tenable, Obama threw Wright under the bus, as the vivid campaign metaphor had it.

The pattern has repeated itself, and because Obama is president, now his choice of associates really matter. Charles Freeman, described by our colleague Bret Stephens as "Obama's national intelligence crackpot," met the bus's underside yesterday, withdrawing from consideration to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council.
Taranto says Obama's mistake with Freeman is more excusable - it took him twenty years to see the light with Wright. On the other hand, the entire country is likely to suffer for Obama's mistake with Freeman (or would have had he ever been confirmed), while only Obama suffers for his association with Wright.

Read the whole thing.

There's a broader pattern at work here. Obama does a very poor job of choosing the people with whom he associates. This was seen in several of his campaign advisers. For example, Samantha Powers, who was forced to resign after calling Hillary Clinton a 'monster,' but who has since been rehired, and Robert Malley who was forced to resign after admitting to having met with Hamas, who has since remained in the background. And it's also been seen in some of his cabinet appointments. Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer, all of whom had tax issues of some sort that forced them to withdraw from the nominating process, all come to mind.

What's not clear yet is whether Obama is a poor judge of character, whether he's just too lazy to vet thoroughly or whether the things that bother the rest of us about these people don't bother him. Which of the three is the cause of the Chas Freeman fiasco is something that should interest all of Israel's supporters.


At 10:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think its both. Obama doesn't judge people very well and he doesn't check too closely into their background. That's why he's had problems getting his Administration staffed. And there's a difference between being a lawmaker and an executive. The former doesn't have to deal with every decision that comes across his desk. An executive does and its a very demanding job. Leaders are made as well as born and while Obama is a persuasive speaker one wonders if he has the skills to select good people and inspire them to give their best.

At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to think the third option, that BHO does not care about the background, is the most applicable one. Barry only begins to be concerned when he finds that he cannot get his customary free pass from the press in order to keep the public in the dark.

At 1:37 AM, Blogger DemoCaster said...

"... while only Obama suffers for his association with Wright. "

Sorry, but the entire world now suffers as a result of his years of association with Wright - the manifestations of which are seen the new socialism and in new foreign policy towards Islamist terrorist states, selling-out Israel & America's NATO-hopeful allies;, associations with the likes of Breszinski, Scocroft, Dennis Blair, Malley, Powers, and Freeman.

To quote Rev. Wright: "G-d-damn America!"

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Alternatively Obama is a narcissist which means that he disdains everyone . Those feed his self worship are disdained less than . So these folks are just champion suck ups.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I think Obama had those inclinations even before he met Wright.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ever since the end of the Cold War, the Left has been in search of new adversaries of the Open Society. No one should be surprised they embrace them today.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger DemoCaster said...

The Wright Stuff
The Charles Freeman fiasco shows why Obama's "spiritual mentor" mattered.

Wall St. Journal By JAMES TARANTO

Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, issued a statement saying that Freeman's "statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration" and that the White House "did the right thing" in defenestrating him.

Schumer certainly is right on the latter point, and it's probably true (fingers crossed) that Freeman's anti-Israel views are "out of step with the administration." Maybe the president was just careless and didn't know all the facts--a claim that would be more plausible in Freeman's case than in Wright's.

When a candidate messes up like this, he pays the price. When the president messes up, the whole country pays. By choosing Freeman in the first place, Obama played into the hands of those who advance the anti-Semitic "Israel Lobby" canard. Thanks to Obama, they now can claim that one of their own became a martyr despite being good enough for the president of the United States. As ABC's Jake Tapper notes:

What's perplexing about this [is] that so much of what critics objected to were Freeman's statements, in full context. His record was picked apart like that of any other controversial nominee--sometimes fairly, sometimes not so--but only in Freeman's case does the nominee make an allegation that a foreign power was lurking nefariously somehow behind it all.

Actually, there's nothing perplexing about it all. That "allegation" is a central tenet of Freeman's worldview--a worldview that Obama, through some combination of incompetence, inattention and indifference, has made slightly less marginal than it was before.

Obviously Freeman's withdrawal is far preferable to his actually having taken office. But as Spencer Ackerman notes, Freeman has in the process extracted a "pound of flesh." All because Obama's judgment was as poor when selecting nominees as when he chose his "spiritual mentor."


At 6:34 AM, Blogger Butchie! said...

Its point 3, he is not stupid, he is passionate, and he is an ideologue.


Post a Comment

<< Home