Friday, October 27, 2006

Post conservative turns post-conservative

Charles Krauthammer, heretofore essentially the only non-leftist on the Washington Post editorial pages (since George Will is nowadays just a Republican apparatchik), has announced he supports affirmative action for the office of U.S. president. He is touting Barack Obama for the job because — get ready — of Obama's race.
… The country hungers for a black president. Not all of the country, but enough that, on balance, race would be an asset. It is no accident that when, a decade ago, another attractive, articulate African American with no experience in electoral office went on a book tour, he was met not just with rock star adulation but with a loud national chorus urging him to run for the presidency.

The object of affection then was Colin Powell. Today it is Obama. Race is only one element in their popularity, but an important one. A historic one. Like many Americans, I long to see an African American ascend to the presidency. It would be an event of profound significance, a great milestone in the unfolding story of African Americans achieving their rightful, long-delayed place in American life.

Of course there is racism in America. Call me naive, but I believe that just as Joe Lieberman was a net positive for the Democrats in 2000 -- more people were attracted to him as a man of faith than were turned away because of anti-Semitism -- there are more Americans who would take special pride in a black president than there are those who would reject one because of racism.

The country is "hungering" to elect a man to the most powerful office in the world because he is black? No, Charles; if anyone is, it's the racial preferences industry. Most Americans would be happy to elect an African American provided he represented their views better than any other candidate and so long as he didn't use his race, even tacitly, to score points with various groups — probably impossible in this day and time.

"A great milestone in the unfolding story of African Americans achieving their rightful, long-delayed place in American life"? I don't know much about Mr. Obama, and maybe he is a good man and would be a good president, but there is no way I am ever going to pull the lever for him because of racial symbolism. I am astounded that Krauthammer would suggest such a thing. Has he gone mad?

After 30 years of racial preferences, government contract set-asides, corporate shakedowns from the likes of Jesse Jackson, and racial/ethnic "targets" enforced by the Equal Opportunitities Employment Commission, we are now in Krauthammer's view morally obligated to hand over the presidency to a black man to show we are not racists.

Et tu, Charles?


CGHill said...

I thought we'd already had a black president: Bill Clinton.

(And no, Hillary can't fill in; if she were any whiter she'd be invisible, and not in a good way, either.)

Vanishing American said...

Actually I am not surprised Krauthammer said this; I've always considered him more neoconnish or right-liberal than truly conservative. Such people are often very liberal on racial issues.
Obama is the beneficiary of our entrenched racial guilt; there are lots of well-meaning people, both Democrat and Republican, who are desperate to demonstrate their PC bonafides, their lack of 'racism' by enthusiastically voting for Obama or someone like him. Obama might even be elected because of that phenomenon, given the right conditions.

perroazul del norte said...

You're really surprised by this? Are you that naive about the neocons? Did someone scare you away from reading the late Sam Franis? No more questions.

perroazul del norte said...

"Sam Franis" should be "Sam Francis"

lmg said...

Obama is an example of what someone, somewhere referred to as the "talking dog" syndrome. That is, a talking dog is remarkable not because it talks very well, but because it can talk at all.

Most black "leaders" and politicians we see in the media are either race pimps or preachers (if not both). It sets a very low standard for excellence. A black person who exceeds those low standards may still be only average when judged by objective standards. But the fact that two different standards are being applied seems to get lost and the public elevates the "exceptional by black standards" to "exceptional by objective standards".

We see something similar in proposals to send the "top 10%" of students from all schools to college. It ignores the fact that the top 10% from some schools are potential Einsteins, while the "top 10%" from other schools receive gold stars for tying their shoelaces.

The pervasivness of low expectations, lower standards and affirmative discrimination for blacks means that a person such as Obama ought to receive a more thorough examination than most before entrusting him with high office. This is an area where mistakes can prove fatal for all of us.