Irwin says Joe Wilson wouldn’t have said what he did to a white President. Pres. Carter echoed that belief, if not in so many words, last night on NBC. Let’s suppose it’s true. Then what? Do we really want a President who cannot be criticized as aggressively as W. was by, say, Al Franken? Is there any doubt that the angry and obnoxious things said about the last administration would have been attributed to bigotry had the President been in an historically oppressed class?
A wise young man said to me last summer that all Presidential candidates should be WASP males. Not because WASP men make the best Presidents, but because they make the best targets when they are not the best Presidents (or candidates). Look at all the ink spilled on the race or sex of Senators Clinton and Obama and Gov. Palin. Not a dime’s worth of it had anything to do with health care or Iraq or Afghanistan. It was all a lot of self-congratulatory feel-goodism: “Look how cool we are letting these ‘others’ take a shot.” Three cheers for US.
Of course, there’s some irony in the claim that BHO would not be receiving the abuse he is receiving if he were not black. After all, he wouldn’t be President if he weren’t black. He might have got there some day, after he had actually shown some skill as a legislator or character in crisis, but in 2008, he had no such credentials. The nomination was Hillary’s to lose, and she lost it, but her inevitability strategy would have worked just fine, I think, if she could have counted on her due share of the black vote. And only a black man could have snatched that from her. (After that, all BHO needed to get elected was to not be a Republican.)
So the election was distorted, first by Hillary’s sex, then by BHO’s race. And as the twig is bent, so grows the tree. The political hurly-burly, the part of our process that ain’t beanbag, must now be fought with kid gloves lest someone be accused of bad thinking. What do we think of these pics? Over the line? No? So can we put BHO in them? Nope. New rules apply.
Liberals make a big mistake, I think, by demanding special consideration for their man. It’s hot in the kitchen, and if the American people get the sense that we have to turn down the heat for a black President lest we be accused of turning it up on him, we will be reluctant to go down this road again, especially since we have already assuaged our collective consciences for all that slavery by sacrificing Hillary to the gods of political correctness. (Irony there, too: so much of feminist politics is a coat-tail play on the mistreatment of African slaves; it’s time we were reminded of the relative magnitude of the atrocities to be rectified, and BHO’s victory over HRC did that very well.)