Will the blowhard blow over, or blow Obama's big chance?

May 18, 2008|By LLOYD "PETE" WATERS

"Jeremiah was a bull frog, he was a good friend of mine. I never understood a single word he said."

I can almost hear Sen. Barack Obama singing those classic Three Dog Night lyrics as he steps from the shower and prepares to campaign another day.

Pastor Jeremiah Wright, after all, has been acting more like a bull frog recently as he attempts to defend some of his remarks made during past sermons at his church.

And just maybe Sen. Obama didn't understand some of the pastor's words, or chose to remain a quiet parishioner.

Pastor Wright, even though a little misdirected, can't be all bad, can he?

Now I have to tell you, there is a special place in my heart for a Marine. Those guys are perhaps just about the most patriotic people I've known in my life. So the media are not going to convince me that Pastor Jeremiah does not have a few patriotic bones in his body. Part of his history includes a tour with the Marine Corps.


And I can understand the good pastor being a little disgusted with our government at times. Who amongst us has not questioned some of our government's policies now and then?

I was in Vietnam in 1967 and I still have a tough time looking back and thinking any kind thoughts about Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara and the other political cronies who committed to such a senseless and wasteful war.

But I have to tell you I'm looking for a little conviction here, too, especially from a potential commander-in-chief.

As the good senator was looking for a place to belong, Pastor Wright's church seemed to accommodate those needs for him and his family.

Unfortunately, I can't help but wonder how you can sit in a pew and listen to rhetoric that includes "a plot by government to cause the AIDS epidemic" and "tales of how great Louis Farrakhan is" without offering a few comments.

I know Obama is a good debater, and Pastor Wright was a friend, but friendship should never stand in the way of good logic.

I also figure it this way. God really does work in mysterious ways.

Sometimes He might bring along a pastor to help you and sometimes He might bring you along to help the pastor.

I believe that the senator from Illinois has discovered a few things of late.

One, Pastor Wright needs a little help. And two, sometimes those people professing to have a direct line to God can get a wrong number.

I also believe that Obama has learned some serious lessons from this issue. He needs to develop a little more backbone. Being forced to confront this issue publicly has probably helped him in more ways than one. I believe he has benefited from this fiasco. Maybe God is preparing him for some bigger things. Then again, maybe not.

I'm not really sure just how this presidential election is going to turn out. It certainly has been an interesting contest to date and there are always some strange twists in politics.

Whether or not Sen. Obama can survive the winds of turmoil surrounding Pastor Wright remains to be seen.

We know that issues such as Willie Horton and Swift Boats have sunk some other candidates in the past.

We also know that our country is in deep, deep trouble, and we need some serious help. Many Democrats and Republicans alike are praying for some tangible relief.

Some like to hear those thoughts and predictions from CNN, Bill O'Reilly, Tim Russert, Chris Mathews and other political analysts, while still others seek out and value the opinions of various religious leaders.

As for me, I'm just going to wait and see how God is going to work this one out.

One thing for certain, those lyrics, "Jeremiah was a Bull Frog he was a good friend of mine (emphasis on was), I never understood a single word he said" might still be resonating with Sen. Obama come November this year. Whether or not Obama is elected and can bring a little "Joy to the World" remains to be seen.

If the Republicans used gunboats to deride John Kerry in the last election, I can hardly wait to see the Wright sideshow this fall.

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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