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Michael Moore spidder Hr. og Fru Clintons metoder mod Obama

Af Rune Engelbreth Larsen Udprint

Michael Moore har hidtil undgået at blande sig i opgøret om, hvem der bliver Demokraternes præsidentkandidat, idet han har erklæret, at enhver Demokrat var at foretrække for Bush og enhver Republikaner. Den indstilling har fået en ende, og i et skarpt, men tiltrængt og berettiget udfald mod Hillary Clinton støtter han nu Barack Obama.

Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.

Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!

This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!

Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity.

Michael Moore, 21. april 2008

Hvad er altså pointen bag Moores humor og sarkasme? Pointen er selvfølgelig for det første afklædningen af Clintons uredelige måde at mistænkeliggøre Obama på - og for det andet påpegningen af hykleriet:

Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"

Parallellen er dog ingenlunde så klar, som Moore giver det indtryk af.

Bill Clinton takkede rigtig nok selv samme Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. i 1998 efter et møde med religiøse ledere ovenpå Lewinsky-skandalen:

Dear Pastor Wright:

Thank you so much for your kind message. I am touched by your prayers and by the many expressions of encouragement and support I have received from friends across our country.

You have my best wishes.

Sincerely, Bill Clinton

Der er imidlertid en afgørende forskel - som Moore altså ikke kommer ind på - mellem et livslangt venskab mellem Obama og Wright og så Clintons takkenote efter Lewinsky-skandalen. I stedet skulle man måske snarere spekulere over rimeligheden eller manglen på samme af den storm, som Obama er blevet kastet ud i pga. Wright.

Obama har distanceret sig selv fra Wright siden februar 2008, men stormen tog for alvor fat måneden efter, da ABC dokumenterede, at Wright bl.a. havde udtalt "God damn America" pga. racisme og drab på "uskyldige mennesker" samt rettet groteske beskyldninger mod den amerikanske regering for at have løjet om opfindelsen af HIV-virus som middel til folkedrab mod farvede i USA. Da sådanne historier om Wrights udtalelser dukkede op, tog Obama skarpt afstand herfra og fjernede ham fra den African American Religious Leadership Committee, som han havde etableret.

I en større tale, "A More Perfect Union", uddybede han sine standpunkter til Wrights udtalelser og perspektiverede sagen med bemærkelsesværdig ærlighed og saglighed:

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely — just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America. (...)

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. (...)

That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop, or the beautyshop, or around the kitchen table ... occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive ... it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races. (...)

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country — a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past

Det er imidlertid svært at forklare, nuancere, beggrunde og tage afstand på én gang - for hvor gennemført og sagligt det end er, er det nok for Hr. og Fru Clinton af se bort fra hele denne relevante baggrundsfortælling om det at være afroamerikaner i det moderne USA, hvor forskelsbehandlingen endnu er udtalt, og hvor arven efter århundreders slaveri og racisme af indlysende grunde ikke er forsvundet endnu. Og derfor også kommer til udtryk i mange sammenhænge.

Også af den grund, er det sørgeligt, når Clinton bruger billige tricks såsom at henvise til Jeremiah Wright, til trods for Obamas afstandtagen og hans afdramatiserende og redelige fremstilling af baggrunden, eller når Hillary udkaster navnet på lederen af Nation of Islam (Louis Farrakhan) som implicit retorisk forbandelse af Obama, blot fordi denne har støttet hans kandidatur.

Desværre tyder intet på, at amerikansk politik foreløbig bliver afgjort af kandidaternes egne standpunkter og kvalifikationer, men derimod igen og igen reduceres til eventuelle moralske skavanker i fortiden - eller til venner og bekendte, hvis mindste vink de skal tages til indtægt for.

Obamas kampagne har heller ikke undladt sådanne metoder, men har dog langtfra anvendt dem i det omfang og på den måde, som har kendetegnet Hr. og Fru Clinton. Derfor er Michael Moores kommentar på sin plads.

Rune Engelbreth Larsen
Blog: Engelbreth, Politiken.dk, 22.4.2008