Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jive Talkin'

Trying to move toward putting the issue to rest, Barack put more mileage between himself and Reverend Wright on Monday:
"He does not speak for me," Obama said. "He does not speak for the campaign, and so he may make statements in the future that don’t reflect my values or concerns," the senator told reporters who strained to hear him on the loud tarmac.
Okay. We know who we're not supposed to see as a reflection of what Obama thinks. At the same time, the Boston Globe points out that Barack doesn't speak that well for himself. How's this for a Barackian title:

"On affirmative action, Obama intriguing but vague"

This is Barack in a nutshell, and this is why the Harvard crowd finds him so appealing. He knows you can impress left wing loons at places like the Globe by saying nothing, but doing it in a lovely manner. Being articulate, for them, is an end unto itself, rather than a tool one can use to say something!
So when ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in the waning minutes of the Pennsylvania debate, asked Obama for his views about affirmative action, Obama's answer was a microcosm of the strengths - and some of the recently apparent weaknesses - of his campaign: The Illinois senator's reply was intriguing but fuzzy, responsive to voters' underlying concerns but not really specific in policy terms.
The Globe feels obliged to call Barack's response to the question "A fine answer." Judge for yourself:

Obama began, "Well, I think that the basic principle that should guide discussions not just of affirmative action, but how we are admitting young people to college generally, is how do we make sure that we're providing ladders of opportunity for people? How do we make sure that every child in America has a decent shot in pursuing their dreams?"

Acknowledging that "race is still a factor in society," Obama nonetheless suggested that his own daughters, who've had "a pretty good deal," might not be deserving of special treatment.

But he added: "I still believe in affirmative action as a means of overcoming both historic and potentially current discrimination, but I think that it can't be a quota system and it can't be something that is simply applied without looking at the whole person, whether that person is black, or white, or Hispanic, male or female. What we want to do is make sure that people who've been locked out of opportunity are going to be able to walk through those doors of opportunity in the future."

Very fine, eh? Really grabbing the issue by the you know what's and carrying it away from the hazards of the old kind of politics to the safety of hope. The Globe isn't being critical, really - it provides cover by saying that Ronald Reagan had the same ability and used it often. Instead, it offers a warning for Barack, pointing out that some 'bitter' voters might actually want to know something about what he has in mind for the country:
But as Hillary Clinton seems to have discovered, Obama's references to values and principles may be elevating, but to some voters - particularly skeptical blue-collar types - they can also be distancing. In Pennsylvania, Clinton took to reciting various specific programs, from special education to veterans' benefits, to point up the contrast between her groundedness and his high-mindedness.
Can you believe they called the bitter class skeptical blue-collar types. Are they coining a new phrase? Is this like calling immigrant farm workers wet-backs?

This is the tripe that the intelligentsia offers up on a candidate with no experience and no record of leadership when he won't outline specific policy ideas in a debate, then refuses to do any more debating. Imagine what they'd say about a republican who did this.

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