Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Poor Barack Obama---just out of the starting gate, and he is already having egg thrown at him from every possible direction. Bad enough that the guy's middle name is Hussein, but he also attended a madras, which is scary because it isn't an English word, and that must mean he is a terrorist. Ok, maybe not, since the story was a large crock of Fox News hooey, madras just means school, and the only terror being taught at Obama's school was the terror of dangling modifiers. Obama might not be a terrorist after all, but according to Bush stooge and Australian PM John Howard, his position on the Iraq war only emboldens the terrorists. As Obama pointed out in as many words, it can only be taken as a compliment if a Bush crony is attacking him the day after he announces his candidacy. Of course, much of the publicity Obama receives is because he is the first black candidate for President to have a legitimate shot of winning. Or is he? Not "or is he a legitimate candidate" but rather "is he black?" You see, salon.com contributor and author Deborah Dickerson asserted on the Colbert Report recently that Obama actually was not black, because he was not a descendant of West African slaves. Dickerson's argument was as convoluted as it was inane, but it illustrates the political quandary Obama finds himself in--if he wants a shot at capturing the Presidency, he will need the support of moderate whites, who would be alienated by Obama alligning himself with Black Power movements. However, he must also bring out the black vote in droves to stand a chance, and he won't be able to do this if he is perceived as an Oreo. Obama is perhaps the most riveting Democrat since Bill Clinton--despite his lack of experience he is a dynamic presence who possesses the rare gift of getting people excited about politics. It is a pity that rather than a substantive debate on his policy views we are reduced to juvenile banter about his "blackness" and what schools he attended some 20 years ago.