Bill Moyers on Jeremiah Wright

Wright says crazy stuff. White preachers say crazier stuff, and it doesn’t rub off on the Republican politicians who seek their support.

Seems to me that Moyers gets it about right.

1. Wright sometimes acts like a jerk and says some outrageous stuff.

2. It’s not hard to understand why he might be angry.

3. Lots of white preachers say much more outrageous stuff, and Republican politicians such as John McCain actively seek their endorsement. But somehow the nuttiness of a Falwell or a Robertson or a Hagee or a Parsley doesn’t rub off on the candidates who court their support.

To which I’d add: Mike Huckabee is right, too. It’s obvious that Wright can’t stand the thought that Barack Obama might be elected President, because that would make nonsense of Wright’s narrative about how wickedly racist the country is. To which I’d further add: or maybe Wright just can’t stand to have someone he once was able to number among his followers become more important than Wright will ever be. Whether it’s his rage he can’t let go of or his envy, Wright is now a sad figure.

That’s too bad, because Wright obviously has great intellect and talent both as a speaker and as an leader; building a congregation of 8000 from scratch is a pretty fancy trick. Having heard the sermons in question, I wouldn’t have walked out of that church, and I’m not even a Christian. But now I’d like to hear some vocies from within Trinity UCC defending its most famous parishoner from its former preacher.

Update E.J. Dionne agrees. Neither one mentions The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who is far crazier, far more evi, and far more powerful than Jeremiah Wright (and a foreign national to boot), and who owns both the Washington Times (which Ronald Reagan called his favorite newspaper) and UPI. Charlie Black, before he signed on to the McCain campaign and started running his lobbying business out of back of the Straight Talk Express, was one of the organizers of Moon’s Capitol Hill “coronation.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: