Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama's Speech: Moral equivalence and white guilt


...click Obama to enlarge...

There is a fascinating editorial in today's Washington Post: "The Speech: A Brilliant Fraud." "His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt. " Charles Krauthammer makes a pretty interesting case for Barack Obama being just another politician of expediency.

I felt like it was a great speech. But was my white guilt merely played like a Stradivarius? A great speech may not be noble, but accomplishes what it set out to do. The polls seem to indicate Obama got a bump from the speech in certain sectors, while he lost ground with the independents. I don't think we'll know for a while because it's not over yet.

Was this the first sign of the cynical, manipulative politician that had to emerge sooner or later? And how will all the new young and African-American voters view that? Does Obama, as a singularly historic figure, get to play by a different set of rules?
---o0o---

2 comments:

Kev said...

Jack, I don't believe for one minute that you would allow yourself to be chastened by Charles Krauthammer. Does he even recognize that his rhetorical standard for speeches is just as easily applied to his own editorials? And while I don't know about the white guilt question I do know that Krauthammer shows no shame no matter what the color.

In fact, he is, what he plays on TV, a smug right wing ideologue who seeks to discredit Obama in just the ways the Senator outlined in A More Perfect Union. Obama is right that the answer to American racism lies in the document Krauthammer and his ilk praise to the heavens everyday while ignoring that those "words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage"

He cherry picks the speech to diminish its scope just as the news networks cherry picked sermons to create a 30sec tape loop that they overtly decry as representative the Wright's entire ministry.

I doubt that Krauthammer has any capacity to understand the feelings of a teenage boy who learns of his beloved grandmother's feelings toward men that look just like him.

Krauthammer's editorial is a political hit job. He is so offended by the complexity of the subject of race in America that he would rather we just get over it and when Obama points out that we can't he ridicules him as a fraud. If anyone has been cultivating the Obama as Messiah myth it's the right so that they can condemn him for not living up standards they've set for him.

A final note: What does Richardson know that the Clintons don't?

MIPS said...

I'm not capable of leaving such a well thought out comment as kev, however I would like to point out that some amount of expediency, if it helps your campaign, is acceptable to me as there would only be a limited satisfaction of losing, especially against foes who don't seem to be held up to the same standards.