Blast from the past: A 2009 Michael Spencer article featured in a 2010 Buckeye RINO post due for revisitation in the wake of SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage

At Buckeye RINO in 2010, I ruminated on an op-ed article titled “The Coming Evangelical Collapse” that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor that was penned by Michael Spencer.  In his article, he predicted that in the next ten years, the following conditions would materialize that would threaten evangelical Christianity:

The promotion of social causes in the political realm by evangelicals not well versed in the Gospel would boomerang.

1. Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.

The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

The youngest generation of adults would have little understanding of the Gospel, let alone its importance.

2. We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we’ve spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

Evangelism will wither.

3. There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.

The educational institutions sponsored by evangelical churches will not have adequately prepared their students.

4. Despite some very successful developments in the past 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can withstand the rising tide of secularism. Evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself.

Churches’ intent to do good will be characterized as bad.

5. The confrontation between cultural secularism and the faith at the core of evangelical efforts to “do good” is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good Evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, and much of that work will not be done. Look for ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.

The Bible Belt will not be immune.

6. Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.

Churches will become financially unsustainable.

7. The money will dry up.

Though Bible Belt states have had the rug pulled out from underneath them by the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage, the evangelical churches in the Bible Belt still exhibit signs of strength.  But, does anyone doubt that the youngest generation of adults have proven to be quite susceptible to secular reasoning?  Does that bode well for church attendance down the road?

Churches’ intent to do good has already been characterized as bad.  Though I think churches did the right thing by taking a stand on moral issues of the day, the inability to spread a well-articulated message throughout all of the American public in support of church stances has boomeranged, and now media censorship will further curtail the churches’ abilities to spread such messages.  Consider this new post, “What Actually Comes Next,” at Erick Erickson’s Red State blog.  In his post he predicts that opposition to same-sex marriage will be portrayed by the media as bigotry and that public pushback to the media position (in such forms as letters to the editor, for example) will be denied expression in the media.  The justification from the media will be that they are taking a principled stand against widespread dissemination of hate speech.   If this imposed silence materializes, the churches will find their efforts to evangelize hampered by a lower profile in American society.  If there is a renewed focus on in-depth schooling of the Gospel as the churches struggle to grow, will it have as much impact as it could have had if that focus had existed at the height of evangelism?

Though Michael Spencer had not articulated a specific source of the coming onslaught against Christianity other than amorphous secularism, in my own ruminations on this blog back in 2010, I did, in fact, predict that opposition to Christianity would very conceivably arise from the LGBT movement.  Consider this article, posted just this week, titled “Does Your Church Ban Gay Marriage? Then It Should Start Paying Taxes,” penned by Felix Salmon at Fusion.  Even moreso than the imposition of income taxes, Felix Salmon looks forward to the day when churches pay property taxes.  I would venture to say that facilities ancillary to the churches, such as church-sponsored universities, would be the first dominos to fall if this scenario were to materialize.  The churches, themselves, would survive a short time longer, I believe, before becoming subject to such a regime.  Also appearing this week, the online edition of Time magazine posted an article by Mark Oppenheimer titled “Now’s the time to End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions.”  As with Felix Salmon’s article, Mark Oppenheimer’s argument is couched in terms of the LGBT movement’s success at the Supreme Court.  Will these voices swell to a chorus of voices that call for the same?  If so, is it not easy to see that, as Michael Spencer predicted, the money would, in fact, dry up?

What I find further chilling about the Supreme Court decision is Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion that the 14th Amendment morphed the Constitution into a living document that can can be altered for the sake of compliance with contemporary public viewpoints.  Where is the rule of law?  Will we no longer be a republic?  Will governance be determined by ever-changing whim?  It is clear that such a stance can easily ignore precedents.  Furthermore, it is clear that the 14th Amendment will be used to interpret the Constitution anew even to the point that the 14th Amendment will prevail whenever Constitutional provisions collide with it.  The 10th Amendment was clearly a casualty in this case.  The 1st Amendment appears to be the next Constitutional provision that the LGBT community wants to have the courts reconsider.  If such an effort were to succeed, what else might be endangered?  I’ll leave you to chew on that thought for awhile.

Large campaigns (like Presidential ones) need skilled technical communicators

Editor’s note: What you’ll find in this post below this editor’s note are pages that do not exactly fit the mold of my previous postings on this blog, for they are dressed up a little.  While I have been in graduate school working toward a degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), I have come to the realization that I know little about the genres within the field of technical communication, yet I’ve noticed that the foreign demand to learn more about the tech comm realm in English is really high.  I have taken about three technical communication courses in an attempt to shore up my deficit, even though the courses were not required for my degree.  The text that appears below is my first attempt to write a “white paper,” a genre that may or may not be familiar to those in marketing.  Specifically, my classmates and I were told to write a paper about working with large amounts of text with fairly recently developed content management tools, namely XML, DITA, and single-sourcing.  The basic idea behind content management, beyond mere storage and retrieval, is that much communication in a workplace contains a lot of repeated text with some variations according to specific circumstances.  In other words, we are talking about form letters on steroids.  While technical communicators are employed as grantwriters, editors, and D-I-Y handbook authors, they are most closely associated with high-tech industry where they take the highly specialized jargon of engineers and translate it into plain English so that we can, hopefully, learn the ins and outs of using the most modern cutting edge gadgets at least as well as our pre-adolescent children do.  Their well-honed writing and editing skills document the work of engineers, for engineers have more specialized and important matters to attend to rather than get bogged down in writing.  Technical communicators not only document what the engineers do, but they strive to keep the whole company in the loop on what is coming through the pipleline, gathering feedback from all of them in the process, plus reaching out to users of the new technologies in progress, both internal and external, to focus the company on what users need.  They funnel this feedback back to the administrators and engineers so that improving product design becomes a continuous collaborative process.  In fact, technical communicators will often manage engineering projects, rather than business persons with MBAs or even the engineers themselves, because technical communicators are better equipped to facilitate collaboration between all stakeholders.  This, in a nutshell, is the world of information development.  As I approached this “white paper” assignment, I reflected on the nature of politics and the parallels between crafting new policies to meet citizens’ needs and inventing new products to meet user’s needs.  Small campaigns, of course, cannot afford to hire a team of technical communicators, but they do not need to as the task of communicating amongst staff, the media, and constituents is not so cumbersome.  However, by the time one runs for U.S. President, one must communicate with millions, so the need for collaboration, the need for a consistent message, the need for information development, and the need for handling textual content reuse–form letters on steroids–means that these big campaigns need technical communicators at the core of their communications.  Campaigns should assemble tech comm teams made from workers who have specialized skills that complement each other rather than a collection of generalists.  Already, 10 Republicans have formally announced their candidacies for U.S. President.  How can they possibly break through from single-digit voter support?  They are fooling themselves if they think they can successfully go from no name recognition all the way to gaining the lead and separating themselves from the rest of the pack without the help of skillful technical communicators.  Tech comm is about much more than developing a campaign website.  I recommend reading the works of JoAnn T. Hackos for further insight on information development and technical communication.  By updating the way a campaign communicates, a candidate can be more persuasive about fixing what’s broken in Washington, DC, when they assemble a juggernaut team that bowls over politics as usual.  Americans are innovators . . . at least in technology and industry.  We need political leaders that are also adept innovators.  The “white paper” is written as if to technical communicators working on a campaign, so the pronoun “you” in the text that follows means “you, the technical communicator working for a presidential campaign.”  Most of the “white paper” appears below the fold, so you’ll have to click the mouse again if you want to keep reading.–DJW

ON THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH XML, DITA, CONTENT REUSE, AND SINGLE-SOURCING: TIME TO SHOW THE BOSS WHAT TECHNICAL COMMUNICATORS CAN DO

BY DANIEL JACK WILLIAMSON

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Information development can easily be extended beyond engineering firms as single-sourcing, XML, and DITA have heightened the capacity for content reuse of textual data by any organization that generates wide varieties of documents on a massive scale disseminated in both print and online formats. U.S. Presidential campaigns generate wide varieties of documents on a massive scale that are disseminated in both print and online formats. One feature of political communication is repetitive text, thus a technical communicator’s tools for content reuse are ideal for streamlined campaigns to reinforce the candidate’s brand through consistent and disciplined messaging. Though the early adoption phase of these tools is past (Dayton & Hopper, 2010), the tools are still far from universally used, and technical communicators need to not only familiarize themselves with these tools, but advocate for their use in planning the pivotal work of the technical communication team. Summaries of the workings of these tools are presented herein, and the relevance of technical communicators to the operations of very large political campaigns set forth.

TECHNICAL COMMUNICATORS ARE THE ANTIDOTE WASHINGTON NEEDS

You are viewed as much more relevant to answering the documentation and information development needs in Silicon Valley than you are to the same types of tasks in Washington, DC. This is unfortunate, for the average U.S. citizen views Washington as dysfunctional while the same citizen may be constantly amazed by what emerges from the technology pipeline. Remember the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act enrollment website? It is an example of what Washington botched that the Silicon Valley would have gotten right. Your skills are transferable. What you can do to revolutionize campaigns might go a long way toward convincing voters that the candidate you work for may be able to transcend Washington, for what you have to offer is not politics as usual. Read the rest of this entry »

Labor Day 2014 in Lorain County

Labor Day 2014 finds me back in Lorain County, the home of Ohio’s largest annual festival (actually, it is always held in Lorain on the Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day) devoted to labor unions.  After reading through Elyria’s Chronicle-Telegram and Lorain’s Morning Journal, I have felt the urge to respond to some of the political speechifying at Sunday’s Labor Fest (officially titled “20th annual Lorain County Organized Labor Day Family Celebration”) as reported by these two newspapers.

As I have written before, I am a Republican who has run for public office who supports organized labor.  I know many other Republicans, locally, who support organized labor even though local union leaders have often been antagonistic toward said Republicans.

Thus, let me begin with a criticism of  the remarks offered by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Lorain), as quoted in this Chronicle-Telegram story:

“You’re getting Republicans that have supported Mitt Romney, that are supporting John Kasich, that are supporting anti-labor, anti-women’s health, anti-voting rights agenda that national Republicans have.”  Brown is supposedly talking about Republicans in elected office here, Lorain County, at the local level.  Wait a minute . . . who the heck is he talking about?  I can name names of anti-labor Republican office holders at the state level, but I’m scratching my head trying to think of who, possibly, Brown is talking about at the local level.  For one thing, there are very few Republicans in office at the local level.  The CT reporter, Evan Goodenow, indicated that Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams–the sole Republican county commissioner–shook his head at Brown’s remarks.  Evidently, if Brown was referring to Williams, then Brown was lying.  Williams would be the expert on where Williams stands, not Brown.  It stands to reason that Williams would not even have been in attendance if what Brown had said was absolutely true.  Being there, and being visible there as a public figure, is a choice Williams made.  He didn’t have to be there.  That he chose to be there is evidence that Williams does not consider himself to be an enemy of the labor unions.  Reportedly, Williams spoke personally with Brown after the speech and assured him that he supported labor.  Brown said he didn’t know who Williams was.  Brown must not have been referring to Williams.  It is clear, by this revelation, Brown didn’t know what he was talking about.  Brown was apparently just shooting his mouth off.  Such reckless remarks and a clear disregard of the truth . . . umm, wait . . . no a total lack of concern for even educating oneself about the truth . . . do not inspire me with confidence in this person who holds the lofty position of U.S. Senator.

State Rep. Dan Ramos urged voters to scrutinize candidates’ records.  I wonder if Ramos supposes that such scrutiny would lead to the conclusion that every Republican is unworthy of support.  Of course, those who are the most likely to avoid scrutiny are those who run unopposed.  Ramos is running unopposed.  Such a shame.  We need to do something about that.  Maybe I, myself, need to do something about that.

But in a related CT story, I don’t have to wonder where local Democrat Party boss Anthony Giardini stands on who is worthy and unworthy of support.  Whoever Giardini handpicks is worthy of support and no one else.  Two members of Lorain City Council ran for election as independents, and that sticks in Giardini’s craw.  Tim Carrion publicly revealed that, next year, he will challenge the Giardini-supported incumbent Democrat mayor of Lorain.  Carrion has not firmly decided whether he will run as a Democrat or as an independent.  Giardini, who would prefer that every Lorain officeholder be his pawn, strongly expressed that Carrion should mount his mayoral challenge within the Democrat primary.  While expressing this, Giardini does not have an open mind about Carrion as a candidate, for he already backs the incumbent.  With the party boss already choosing sides, why would Carrion feel it’s in his best interests to run in the primary as a Democrat rather than as an independent in the general election?  Giardini offered that if Carrion beat the incumbent in the primary that he would support him in the general election.  If Carrion chooses to challenge in the primary, then, purely statistically–like a coin toss–without taking any other factors into consideration, Carrion only has half a chance of advancing to the general election.  As an independent, Carrion guarantees that he advances to the general election.  As an independent, yes, Carrion would definitely not have Giardini’s blessing, whereas he has some chance of securing Giardini’s blessing if he won a Democrat primary, but is a primary contest really worth it when Giardini is clearly not going to remain neutral in the primary?  If Giardini would vow strict neutrality in the primary, and not try to tip the scales, I think, if Carrion views Giardini as trustworthy, then running in the primary would make total sense.  Absent that, Carrion should go independent all the way.

I have to admit to some measure of delight that a couple of union-backed independent members of city council have ripped a page out of Giardini’s playbook of machine politics to beat a couple of Giardini’s handpicked candidates.  Giardini’s Democrat political machine has always relied heavily on union members’ contributions to make it work, and those wins serve as reminders to political bosses to not take those key contributors for granted or turn them into pawns.

The MJ story by Richard Payerchin offers some hope that local union leadership will be more open to forging alliances with Republicans sympathetic to worker interests.  Jim Slone’s (Lorain County CAP Council of the UAW) declaration that he is a unionist before he is a Democrat doesn’t exactly translate into a willingness to ally with Republicans, but it seems to leave the door open to that.  Similarly, Harry Williamson’s (Lorain County AFL-CIO) observation that, “I’ve emphasized that specifically here in Lorain County, history’s always shown that labor has been a D-type (Democratic) organization.  As workers, we have to get away from that mindset,” is even more encouraging since it was coupled by an example of an actual former Republican officeholder that was a friend to labor.  Keith Hocevar’s (Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 16) assurance that, “In the building trades, we talk to both sides; we talk to Democrats and Republicans in races. For us, we look at individual races and talk to the candidates and talk to the candidates who support our issues,” is the most comforting.  I hope that Dan Ramos and Sherrod Brown carefully read those statements, as they paint the GOP with such broad brushes as to suggest Republicans are monolithic in their political views.  They should campaign on their own virtues vis-a-vis the candidates they face.  Voters need to know that while some candidates are willing to be party pawns, others are too principled to allow themselves to be treated as pawns.  It is the voters’ responsibility to determine which is which, and when they find a principled candidate, it behooves voters to demand to know just what those principles are before they cast their votes.  I have always maintained that one should vote for the person, not the party.  Voting for a party slate assembled by political insiders is why nations governed by parliaments are inferior to the elections conducted within America’s system of government.

In both the CT and MJ articles, John Kasich was held up as an object of scorn.  In closing, let me offer this head’s up.  When it comes to opposition to unions, John Kasich is nothing compared to Jon Husted.  I sure hope Husted is not the “anointed” GOP candidate for Ohio Governor in 2018.  If he is, I sure hope he is vigorously contested in the GOP primary.  Husted is a prime example of pay-to-play politics.  I would not cast a vote  for Husted even if he ran unopposed, whether in a primary or in a general election.

Updating blog roll

It has been a long time since I last checked the links on my blogroll.  I have made changes.  Deletions from the blogroll were based on links that stopped working, links that redirected to a totally unrelated page, blogs that were blank, blogs that were password protected, or blogs that hadn’t added content in years.

If you own a website that was deleted and you would like it reinstated, you should probably include an explanation of why I found what I found when I clicked on your link.  If for example, your link was dead because you changed your URL, then I’d be happy to revisit my decision to delete.

After those deletions, I am looking to add to the blogroll.  I will be on the lookout for blogs that are Ohio-based and/or politics-based.  North central Ohio, like the counties along the Lake Erie shoreline between Cleveland and Toledo and a little further inland, is what I consider my home territory, for I have resided in Erie, Seneca, and Lorain counties (Franklin County, too, but plenty of blogs cover Columbus).  Huron, Sandusky, and Ottawa counties are of interest, too.  If you would like your blog added to my blogroll, give me a holler (my profile with email appears on the About page). As you know, I identify myself politically as being right-of-center (even though there are those who disbelieve my self-assessment).

On another note, I was stunned to see that WordPress had begun to place ads on my site.  I paid WordPress extra money just to keep my blog advertisement-free.  If you see ads crop up on Buckeye RINO, I’d appreciate it if you would let me know so that I can investigate.

For social networking, I have been using just Twitter, as I find it least annoying among social networking sites.  I once had Facebook and a few others, but I hated them, so I pulled the plug on them.  However, if readers have a social networking site that they want to recommend, let me know, and if you really think I should return to Facebook, I will entertain your arguments (but make them good, since I’ll be difficult to persuade).

No Monday morning quarterbacking here . . . GOP candidates did well

The projections are in, and, aside from good news for the GOP in the U.S. House of Representatives, much of the rest of the news for the GOP was not good.  However, I think Ohio’s GOP candidates did a good job, and so did the Romney/Ryan ticket.

I know that pundits will say that the race for the presidency was winnable (and it was), thus Romney should have been able to cross the finish line with a different strategy.  I am comfortable with the job he did.  I think Josh Mandel ran well, too.  Therefore, I will not be playing a blame game that finds fault with the candidates.  In fact, I will not even place blame on Obama and the opposing camp.

I think voters had enough information given to them to make their own decisions.  I didn’t like the eventual election outcomes, but I do believe that the responsibility for these outcomes rests with the voters.  If I had thought that the candidates had not done enough to inform the electorate about the choices involved in this election, then, yes, I might be looking to cast blame upon candidates.  Even above and beyond the call of duty, both Republicans and Democrats had excellent GOTV ground games.  Therefore, I commend the candidates for doing anything and everything that could reasonably be asked of them.

I foresee unpleasantries ahead as I see a White House on a collision course with the Congress.  These consequences are the responsibility of the voters.  The voters were forewarned.  The voters decided.  Now a word to the voters:  Fasten your seat belts, because we’re in for a very rough ride.

DJW: I’m not That Other (Paper) Dan Williamson

There is an alternative weekly paper in Columbus, called The Other Paper, who has a managing editor named Dan Williamson. He sometimes writes articles that include political figures and political issues.

I’m also known as Dan Williamson. My first media exposure in a political vein occurred when I was a Republican candidate running for state representative against incumbent Democrat Joe Koziura, of Lorain, in Ohio’s 56th House District in 2002. I listed my name on the ballot as Daniel Jack Williamson for two reasons, one reason being that my dad, Jack Williamson of rural Bellevue in Seneca County, was a candidate in the Republican primary for an open seat in the 58th House District, which neighbors the 56th, and I thought where media coverage about those two state rep races overlaps, my middle name on the ballot might somehow improve his name recognition. I wrote letters to the editors of newspapers, and I posted comments at an online community forum at LorainCounty.com, but that was just about the greatest extent of my writing contributions to the media at that time. I ran again for state rep in 2004 (an image of my 2004 campaign literature here–you’ll have to scroll to see the whole image). My political writing had not expanded beyond what it had been during the 2002 campaign.

In early 2005, not long after losing (again) the election in November 2004, I went to South Korea to teach English for a year (image), so I wasn’t even posting online comments at Lorain County.com during that time. In early 2006, I was back to posting online, but my comments, critical of Sherrod Brown before Paul Hackett withdrew from the Democrat primary for the U.S. Senate seat, kept getting deleted by the website, and after that, my comments went to moderation, and it would be about 24 hours before my comment would actually appear. By then, the conversation thread had lengthened quite a bit, so my comments weren’t likely to be read when they did appear. That’s when I started looking to other blogs to comment. In 2007, I began contributing entries to blogs.

In the early 1990’s, I was living in Columbus. The Other Paper had emerged on the Columbus print media scene. Dan Williamson became a known byline. Most of my friends and co-workers called me Dan. I didn’t realize that some of them were confusing me with the journalist until the secretary of my boss at National City Bank (where I worked from September 1993 through May 1995 as a teller) gave me a compliment about my writing. LOL! I quickly corrected her and said that it wasn’t me. Until I moved out of Columbus at the very start of January 2000, I’d had a number of people approaching me similarly, and these were people who knew me quite well, some of whom I saw nearly every day!

So, the second reason I chose to include my middle name on the ballot? Because I already knew that people had been confusing me with the journalist for years, and that if I received media coverage as a candidate, I hoped that including my middle name would spare media observers the confusion. I continued using that middle name when I made my first foray into blogging for much the same reason.

But I suppose that once I start generating political commentary, and, in a sense, entering the arena that the journalist was already in, I suppose it was inevitable that the confusion would arise anyway. And so I guess writing this blog entry to set the record straight was inevitable.

Why use Wright to judge Obama?

I have a bone to pick with the mainstream media as well as many voices in the blogosphere.

I think there’s too much noise about Rev. Jeremiah Wright casting a shadow on Barack Obama.

Make no mistake, barring the entry of a compelling minor party candidate, I’ll be voting for John McCain in November, but I still think it’s not right to fault Obama because of Wright.

I certainly think sermons can be newsworthy.  I don’t fault the media for reporting what preachers may say.

But media pundits and bloggers alike are blaming Obama for being preached to by Wright.

Would I have continued to attend a church where Wright was preaching?  That’s for me to decide.

And that’s the whole point.

We have freedom of religion.  No one can tell me where I ought to go to church and where I ought not go.  I don’t have to attend a church that’s politically correct.  Wright does not lead a cult that brainwashes people in order to treat them in an inhumane way for his own benefit, as Warren Jeffs has done with his FLDS cult.  So then, why are we second-guessing Barack Obama?

Even if he sat in those pews every Sunday for the past 20 years, and heard every single word spoken by Wright, it’s not for anyone else to say that Obama’s attendance there shows lack of judgment.  Obama has every right to be there, and shouldn’t have to have his judgment called into question for being there.

I don’t agree with much of Wright’s assessment of America, but so what?  I can think of Old Testament prophets that railed against the Kindom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel.  It certainly wasn’t politically correct for those prophets to find fault with their own governments, but they felt that they were being true to God’s word.  And who am I to judge whether Wright feels he’s being true to God’s word or not?  Wright has freedom of religion, and when he addresses a congregation that has the freedom to peaceably assemble, Wright has freedom of speech.  Isn’t the Constitution a wonderful thing?

Whatever Wright may have said, Obama chooses his own thoughts, his own words, and his own actions.  In Obama’s own words, he disavowed the utterings of Wright that have been shown on that endless loop.

There’s been a flap over some things Obama said in San Francisco.  I think we can all form our own valid opinions on what those words reveal about Obama’s candidacy.  Wright’s words don’t reveal anything about Obama’s candidacy.  Obama’s words about Wright’s words reveal something.  They reveal that Obama doesn’t agree with Wright, yet many are still making judgments about Obama based on the words of Wright.

I hope this distraction goes away soon, so we can move on from petty disagreements in order to engage in substantive analysis.