The question that cries out for an answer from Mr. Wright is why – if he is so passionately committed to liberating and empowering blacks – does he seem so insistent on wrecking the campaign of the only African-American ever to have had a legitimate shot at the presidency. —Bob Herbert, NY Times
When I step inside the Liquor & Rubber Balls (LRB) Sports and Titty bar, John Stewart is giggling and pulling faces on a Daily Show segment called “Reverending Story” about Rev. Jeremiah White’s apparent meltdown.
“It’s been the big story all day,” Don Tequila tells me, as he hands over my shot of Partida. “First the clown, then the peanut gallery.”
I perch beside Duck Diamonds, who is thoughtfully ignoring the screen (like a sensible person). Duck is a professional gambler whose patience for politics can be measured in half-thimbles. Not so Wild Turkey and Dark Draft on the other side of the bar, who are laughing uproariously at the commentary.
“This fucks Banana Obama big time,” says Dark Draft. “As only a friend can fuck you.” Wild Turkey nods her head in agreement.
Duck grunts. “Stupid shits,” he mutters. “Too dumb to play Black politics.”
Who? Obama? Rev. White?
Duck sips his seltzer (Duck doesn’t drink, which might sound odd for a guy who spends most of his free time in a sports bar. Then again, it is a sports bar, and the regulars are pretty damn hot lesbians.)
“No, he says quietly. “Like them two, taking all this at surface value.”
I don’t follow, Duck.
He sighs. “You see this at the pool table all the time,” he says. “Ringers. Sharks. They come in, play a serious but sloppy game, and some sucker comes along and figures to clean up on ‘em. Out comes the money. They turn around and run the damn table. Take all the mark’s cash, and blow.”
I still don’t follow.
“Rev. White knows what he’s doing. His man’s in a deep hole that White got him into, and he don’t like it. No matter what Obama says or does, it just gets worse. So White plays the Joker card. Every camera in the country is on him. Climbs up on his hind legs and makes a speech that is so lame brain, so outrageous, so way the hell over the top that not only does Obama get to denounce his ass, he’s gotta. And does.”
So White gets Obama out of it by cutting his own throat?
“Sure, what else? They tried everything they could think of and nothin’ worked. The minister parts the waters to save his flock. Only way out is through.”
Duck, that makes so much sense I can’t believe nobody else thought of it.
“Shit. Lotsa people thought of it. Just not the jawboning plastic hairpieces you see on the tube. Ain’t a hustler or a hooker or a street cop hasn’t been through this now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t routine.”
Duck Diamonds doesn’t care who’s president — hell, he doesn’t care if there even is a president — he’s just a gambler, measuring the odds, playing his hand.
They’re still laughing and grabbing asses at the bar. Guido made dinner for us both tonight. There’s thunder out over the Everglades, moving in. Don Tequila threatens to pour another Partida. I shake my head No and go home.