Looks Like Penny from Pennsylvania Didn’t Show – and Can You Really Blame Her?


Today the networks are echoing what I heard from Pennsylvania Democrats last week: a discernible number who voted Hillary were swayed by Obama’s “cling to guns and religion” comments, and why shouldn’t they have been? The comments were insulting and oozed with stereotype, period. If a white politican had said something similar of inner city blacks, he would have been similarly, if not more severely, criticized, and rightly so.

Although I would have more respect for him had he apologized for them squarely, I think Senator Obama can be forgiven the comments: maybe they were partially the result of exhaustion. More importantly, perhaps they reflected a truth not unique to Senator Obama. As my reader Marilyn Pitz astutely noted yesterday, Senator Obama is only human, and no doubt subject to his own prejudices, as are the vast majority of us ordinary mortals.

Here’s a thought: what if Senator Obama had used the opportunity of his mistake to introduce a truly honest discussion about race, the human tendency to stereotype, the imperative to relate to other human beings as individuals, etc. Now THAT would have been visionary.

But alas, Senator Obama, while brainy and charming and no doubt a cut above the average politician, is pure politician nonetheless. I see no evidence that his sensitivity or courage is extraordinary. “Cling-gate” should serve as a long overdue reality check to his most ardent supporters: he is just a man, not a Savior or a Martin Luther King. Although I admit he looks pretty imperial striding through those waves.

This entry was written by and posted on April 24, 2008 at 2:15 pm and filed under Blog. permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Keywords: , . Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. */?>