Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time to ready the Rose Garden for ‘Beer Summit’ #2

Sherrod will likely turn down USDA job offer. She said she would like to have a talk with Obama, but not an apology. I can understand why she wouldn’t want to go back. This is an embarrassing situation all the way around. People reacted to an extreme conservative blogger’s post (Andrew Breitbart)  showing her speaking (out of context). It worked better than expected for him and caused all of the ensuing chaos.         

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Obama’s broken promise: As for Obama, it is clear that his hope of creating “a more perfect union” on the subject of race -- the title of his famous 2008 speech in Philly -- has so far been a broken promise. As Ben Smith observed yesterday, “The election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was supposed to be a sign of our national maturity, a chance to transform the charged, stilted ‘national conversation’ about race into a smarter and more authentic dialogue, led by a president who was also one of the nation's subtlest thinkers and writers on the topic. Instead, the conversation just got dumber.” It is clear that Obama -- perhaps correctly -- has decided that it is more important to govern than it is to tackle the issue of race. Still, it is a broken promise, and Robert Gibbs implied yesterday we won't see a so-called "national conversation" on race anytime soon. In truth, it's probably a topic the president can't tackle until he's, well, an ex-president.

Are we mature enough to have a conversation about race? But even if Obama tries to tackle race during his presidency, is Washington mature enough to listen? Probably not when there are so many questioning whether the president was born in this country, when the NAACP is accusing the Tea Party of being racist, when a handful of "new" Black Panthers are on the prowl (who, btw, aren't really members of the actual Black Panthers AND who are about as relevant on the left as the John Birch Society is on the right), and when someone like Andrew Breitbart is so fixated on proving via a concerted campaign that somehow there is racial bias being practiced by this president or members of his administration (whether it’s ACORN, Sherrod, etc.).

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