Jeremiah Wright and Republican Hit Squads

Jeremiah Wright and Republican Hit Squads


The juicy revelations of the inner-workings of the Republican Right’s attack machine show how little respect hard-core conservatives have for President Obama, how little respect they have for the public and even how little respect they have for their nominee Gov. Mitt Romney.

On March 18, 2008, Senator Obama gave perhaps his best speech of the campaign in forcefully answering critics that were upset with some of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s more incendiary comments. The public (at least the 69 million that voted for him) accepted Obama’s response to the controversy when he said,

“…we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike. I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy.”

That a Republican political hit-squad would try to dig this mine again shows an utter contempt for the public’s ability to decide what is and is not a salient issue.

Further, given that Obama has an actual governing record of more than 3 years in the White House it shows that many of these Super PACs are all too willing to take the low road to elect Mitt “just borrow the money from your parents” Romney.

Even Mitt Romney rejects rehashing the Wright controversy. His campaign team recognizes that it needlessly interjects race and religion into a campaign that all agree should revolve around stewardship of the economy.

What this really shows is how callous some Republican operatives are with race and religion. That they labeled him a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln” is almost too unfathomable to be believed. They refuse to just see Obama as an American of equal footing and insist on labeling him with racially-identifiable qualifiers. This harkens back to the Joe Wilson controversy and might deserve honorable mention to the list of The 10 Worst Moments of Disrespect towards President Obama.

What will keep this Jeremiah Wright-themed negative attack campaign off the list, for now, is that the Super PAC pulled the plug for now. However, do not bet that this issue is gone for good. If the Romney campaign gets desperate this fall, no one should be surprised if they try to Swift Boat Obama in the last days of the race with some old-fashioned, low and dirty, October surprise race-baiting.

MARVIN KING received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Texas and is now an Associate Professor of Political Science with a joint appointment in the African American Studies Program at the University of Mississippi. He conducts research into how political institutions affect African American politics. Marvin is available for public speaking engagements and you can follow him on Twitter @kingpolitics