Jeremiah Wright, SOB

What Andrew said, and good for him, though I take Noah Millman's point that any further distancing by Obama is more or less just theater at this point: We know who and what Wright is, we know how Obama thinks about their relationship (or how he wanted to think about it; he may be thinking different thoughts right about now).and it's hard to see what more there is that voters need to hear in order to make a judgment about whether and how the Wright-Obama connection ought to matter. But I will say this: Whatever one thinks of how Obama's choice of pastor should bear on his qualifications for the Presidency, it's hard to feel anything but pity for the junior Senator from Illinois after watching Wright's disgustingly narcissistic display over the last few days. Obama has compared his pastor to a crazy uncle, but I suspect - based on how he's talked about his minister, how he's written about him, and how people tend to think about their spiritual mentors - that if he were being completely honest, he'd describe Wright as closer to a father-figure instead. And now, as if being abandoned by his biological dad wasn't bad enough, he's lugging a quintessential Bad Father through his Presidential campaign - a pure creep straight out of an Augusten Burroughs memoir, who's happy to sabotage a younger, finer man who might just be the first black President of the United States in the hopes of feeding his own ego and becoming ... what? The next Al Sharpton? The next Willie Horton? How vile and pathetic.

Obviously I'm not rooting for Barack Obama to win the Presidency, but if he does take the election this fall, there will be some compensating pleasures - not only the thrill that will accompany seeing a man ascend to the Oval Office who could have been bought and sold in a different, more unjust America, but the pleasure of knowing that Jeremiah Wright's attempt at self-aggrandizing sabotage fell flat on its face.

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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