Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Obama Speech, Take 2

I disagree with the Dude. It wasn't a great speech. Barack Obama certainly is an above average orator but a great speech would have required Mr. Obama to say great things. He did not.

And as for believing him, what's not to believe? I believe he's not going to disown his minister. I also believe he truly, sincerely wants to change the subject. Does anyone doubt he'd much rather talk about Geraldine Ferraro or his own white grandmother than answer questions about his long association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

For a voter like me, Senator Obama offers one thing: a candidacy that supposedly trancends race. A few days ago in the Wall Street Journal  Shelby Steele asked, "How does one 'transcend' race in this church?" The answer is, you don't.

Mr. Steele continued, "What could he have been thinking? Of course he wasn't thinking. He was driven by insecurity, by a need to 'be black' despite his biracial background. And so fellow-traveling with a little race hatred seemed a small price to pay for a more secure racial identity." Mr. Steele has written a book about Mr. Obama that describes him as a "bargainer". (Read the article or, better yet, Mr. Steele's new book to see what he means.)

Maybe, probably, this whole post-racial thing was a false hope. Maybe, probably, Barack Obama was destined to disappoint us. The race issue couldn't so easily be solved by voting for the first African-American President in history.

I was thinking the other day, "We could use another MLK right about now." Of course, we could have used another MLK just about every day since he was assassinated almost 40 years ago. And it's probably unfair to Senator Obama to compare him to Dr. King but there it is.

Martin Luther King Jr. made great speeches. Senator Obama - not so great.


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Dexter said...

This post is likeable too!

Article here in New Yorker about Obama's speech...